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May 06, 2024 02:37 PM UTC

Uber, Lyft Transparency Bill Heads For Gov. Polis' Desk

  • 1 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
Uber drivers protesting at DIA in 2023.

A press release from Colorado House Democrats this afternoon announces another big-deal bill that has passed both chambers of the General Assembly and is now on the way to Gov. Jared Polis’ desk: Senate Bill 24-075, requiring transparency for rideshare drivers and customers. Similar legislation introduced last year failed to get out of the legislature under heavy lobbying by the big rideshare companies Uber and Lyft:

The House today passed legislation sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Jennifer Bacon and Representative Naquetta Ricks that would improve flexibility, fairness, safety, and transparency for gig transportation network company (TNC) workers and consumers. SB24-075 passed by a vote of 43-19.

“Gig workers deserve to know how much they will get paid before they accept a job, and this bill will give them better clarity so they can make informed workplace decisions,” said Assistant Majority Leader Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver. “This bill improves gig workers’ rights while providing much-needed transparency to consumers so they know what their money is paying for.”

“The gig economy has exploded in recent years, and we must address the lack of worker protections and consumer transparency to ensure fair wages and autonomy,” said Rep. Naquetta Ricks, D-Aurora. “This bill aims to address these issues by requiring companies to disclose the distance, direction, and fare of a ride to drivers before they accept it and share fare information with customers so they know how much of their rideshare is going to their driver. Without this information, drivers and customers are left in the dark and are vulnerable to being over-charged or underpaid.”

Gig work has risen over the last decade, but many workers struggle to make ends meet or plan for their financial future due to the volatile nature of their earnings and unjust terminations. SB24-075 would address a number of issues gig workers and consumers face by requiring the following:

Companies must disclose terms and grounds for termination or deactivation of drivers and communicate their reconsideration process;
Companies must disclose the fare, distance, and direction to all drivers before they accept a ride, which can prevent last-minute ride cancellations initiated by drivers;
Companies must disclose fare information to customers, including the total amount paid and how much of that the driver received; and
Companies must disclose some ride and app activity-related information to the state of Colorado, such as total mileage driven, deactivations and reconsideration results, and more.

The bill aims to provide TNC drivers with transparent information about tasks and earnings, and customers with the information needed to make decisions about how much to tip. Additionally, the bill would protect drivers by giving them a basic level of transparency about how deactivations are considered and can be appealed.

Another bill to provide pricing transparency for delivery network drivers, House Bill 24-1129, passed yesterday and is also on the way to Gov. Polis’ desk. Taken together these are the most significant protections for so-called “gig workers” passed in Colorado since the ridesharing industry exploded all over the economy years ago. This novel means of generating income also allows for significant exploitation of gig workers if the terms of the service are not transparent to both parties, and drivers say the “deactivation” process for problem drivers is arbitrary and capricious.

Like the passage earlier this session of major for-cause eviction reform that failed the previous session, the passage of these landmark gig worker protection bills is a lesson in the persistent effort often required to make big reforms through the legislative process. Very often years of patient education and steady overcoming of stakeholder and lobbyist objections is necessary. That’s why it’s important for activists and lawmakers dedicated to achieving their long-term goals not let any one session’s failure be the final answer.

Let your next Uber driver know too, because they may well not.

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