Rival rideshare apps start signing up Minneapolis drivers as Uber, Lyft exit looms | Laptop News

This story comes to you from Sahan Journal through a partnership with MPR News.

Alfonzo Galvan | Sahan Journal

A month from the date Uber and Lyft have threatened to leave Minneapolis over a new rideshare ordinance, two rival apps are testing the waters to see if they can drum up driver — and passenger — interest.

Neither the Drivers Cooperative nor Hich have applied for a license to operate in Minneapolis, but representatives said they signed up a few hundred drivers at an event Friday backed by the Minnesota Uber/Lyft Drivers Association (MULDA).

MULDA President Eid Ali said his organization would support any alternative service provider interested in joining the market.

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“Rather than being without services, riders will have multiple options, creating a better and healthier transportation infrastructure,” Eid said at Friday’s news conference.

The Minneapolis City Council overrode a veto by Mayor Jacob Frey on March 14 to pass the state’s first ordinance setting minimum pay for rideshare drivers, who are independent contractors.

The Minneapolis ordinance sets a pay rate of $1.40 per mile and $0.51 per minute, or $5, whichever is higher, for the time transporting a rider within city limits.

Uber and Lyft have said those rates are too high and that they would leave Minneapolis—and in the case of Uber, the entire Twin Cities metro — by May 1.

The rideshare giants have been lobbying Minneapolis and state officials for a much lower rate: $0.89 per mile and $0.49 per minute.

But the move has presented an opening to several smaller…

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