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New York City Uber, Lyft Drivers Get Pay Raise in Taxi and Limousine Commission Vote; Uber praises the plan as “more reasonable”

Uber and Lyft drivers are taking home more pay this month, thanks in part to a decision by the Taxi and Limousine Commission that changed its minimum pay formula for rideshare drivers and accelerated the increase.

“We are excited to have come up with a rule that has worked for everyone,” TLC Commissioner David Do said before a packed courtroom at the commission’s Manhattan headquarters.

The salary increase of around 2.25% approved on Wednesday is intended to offset higher vehicle maintenance costs and other expenses for drivers.

That pay increase builds on a separate TLC decision in February to adjust driver pay for inflation.

Together, the changes give drivers an 8.78% increase over last year’s pay rates, a TLC spokesperson told the Daily News. That’s in line with The News’ report last week that the total increase would be around 9%.

Wednesday’s vote is meant to address rising driver expenses, Do said. Uber and Lyft drivers, considered by the app companies to be independent contractors, are responsible for vehicle maintenance, fuel costs and regulatory fees.

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Uber sued to block a commission-approved increase in 2022 that would have increased driver pay by about 10% in a combined rule change to address expenses and take-home pay.

In the breaking lawsuit, Uber argued that the TLC miscalculated inflation and driver spending. A judge rejected the increase in January, and several strikes by rideshare drivers followed.

Wednesday’s unanimous vote was greeted with applause from the rideshare drivers in attendance. Driver advocates hailed it as a victory.

“Today, after three successful strikes, we can celebrate knowing that we took back a raise that belonged to the drivers and we did it by reminding the companies that the drivers are organized and can beat them,” Bhairavi Desai, director of the New York Taxi Workers. Alliance, she said in a statement.

Uber, which filed last year’s lawsuit just 10 days before the stalled increase was supposed to take effect, gave no indication it would oppose Wednesday’s rule change.

“The one-time increase of about 2.25% is more reasonable than what was previously proposed,” Freddi Goldstein, an Uber spokesperson, told The News.

The new pay rate goes into effect on Monday. “We expect this salary increase to be implemented without further opposition,” Do said in a statement after the vote.

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