Washington governor signs pay guarantee into law for Uber, Lyft drivers

Seattle enacted a minimum wage for rideshare drivers about a year ago, but now the state of Washington has gotten on board. Also, Instacart is starting to back down from its initial IPO plans. Let’s dive into this week’s news with senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins.

Washington governor signs Uber, Lyft driver pay guarantee into law (Reuters)

Summary: Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday signed into law a minimum pay standard for Uber (UBER.N) and Lyft (LYFT.O) drivers, making Washington the first U.S. state to implement earnings standards for ride-hail companies.

Drivers across the Northwestern state will earn a minimum of $1.17 per mile and 34 cents per minute with a minimum pay of $3.00 per trip.

Under the new law, drivers will also have access to paid sick time, family medical leave and long-term care programs, and be eligible for workers’ compensation, a U.S. government-mandated program that provides benefits to workers who become injured or ill on the job. Drivers will also be able to appeal should they be removed from the apps….

My Take: Followers of RSG’s Facebook page commented on this article questioning the sick leave portion of the law.

Craig wanted a clarification, “Is it going to be one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours work or 40 hours on the clock that’s a big question.”

It’s most likely that the hours counted toward earning sick leave would be what’s considered “active” hours, meaning you have accepted a request and you’re actively working it. If you’re simply online and available for requests, that would not count toward the incentive.

This is the first state to have this kind of law. It certainly helps that the city of Seattle did it about a year ago, helping pave the way for broader implementation. It also helps disprove Uber’s and Lyft’s arguments that they would have to charge the passengers significantly more in order to pay out a guaranteed wage to the drivers. As far as I can see, ridership did not drastically decrease because of Seattle’s minimum wage law for rideshare drivers.

Instacart CEO Plans to Build Company, Not IPO (PYMNTS)

Summary: Instacart isn’t rushing to go public right now, according to CEO Fidji Simo, Bloomberg wrote.

Simo, speaking at a conference on Monday (March 28), said the ultimate goal was that “the company that we do take public is a company that reflects the vision that I’ve laid out.”

“I want to attract investors that understand this long-term vision and understand what we’re trying to do, and so, there’s no rush.” Simo said.

Simo added that the ultimate goal was to keep building “a great business over the long term.” She said she wanted to do so by attracting good talent that “feels that when they come here, they have a lot of upside.”…

My Take: It’s refreshing to see one of these platforms not rush into going public. If it’s not at a place that makes sense to go public, then there’s no harm in working on improving the business so that going public will be more likely to succeed.

Both Uber and Lyft underperformed when they went public. Perhaps Instacart is learning from its mistakes.

Also in the news…

DoorDash and BJ’s Wholesale Club Partner to Provide Consumers with Access to BJ’s Products On-Demand (DoorDash)

Thoughts: It’s not surprising that DoorDash is continually expanding. They have been branching out to other retailers over the past few years, ensuring their solid market share. They are more than just restaurant delivery—DoorDash has also pushed into the grocery and convenience areas. I’m sure there’s still more to come.

How much you should expect to pay to charge an electric car (Business Insider

Thoughts: While the cost of gas isn’t the first thing on people’s minds anymore, there is still the lingering question of whether EVs are the best way to go moving forward. Hybrids and EVs seem to be the wave of the future. When you replace your gas guzzler, will it be with an electric vehicle?

Uber Green pricing and surcharge change

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Thoughts: I think it should have been obvious that riders wouldn’t want to pay more (even if it’s just $0.50) to book a green vehicle instead of a standard X ride. If you want to incentivize something and encourage riders to do something, you can’t tack on a fee for it. So, this news isn’t surprising, but it is a shame that drivers will no longer be getting that extra $0.50 for using their more eco-friendly vehicles.

Are you an EV driver or interested in learning what it’s like to drive an electric vehicle for rideshare? Join our Uber and Lyft EV Drivers Facebook group here!

Are you driving an electric vehicle? Have you noticed a cost savings for operating your vehicle? Share your experiences! 

-Paula @ RSG