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Uber now plans to REVOKE policy that let California drivers set their own fares

Uber now plans to REVOKE policy that let California drivers set their own fares – just months after the rideshare app used it to dodge multi-million dollar regulation

  • Uber says it may stop drivers from seeing their passenger’s destination and from setting their own fee 
  • A third of California drivers declined more than 80% of their ride requests, making the service unreliable  
  • In January 2020, Uber announced it would allow their California rideshare drivers to see destinations before picking up passengers and let them set pricing
  • By allowing the drivers more control, Uber was able to say that drivers were actually independent contractors and not employees under state rules 










Uber may remove California drivers’ freedom to set their own prices and see trip destinations in advance after it no longer needs to prove they are independent contractors.  

In January 2020, Uber announced it would allow their California rideshare drivers to see destinations before picking up passengers and let them set their own pricing. 

But, the rideshare company said it led to drivers declining requests and cherry-picking more lucrative rides. Up to a third of rivers declined more than 80% of their ride requests, making the service unreliable, the company said.

The policy change was a strategic move for the company, and it was implemented it after the 2019 Assembly Bill 5 was signed into law. The bill forced gig-economy companies like the popular rideshare company to treat workers as employees with rights to benefits, including healthcare, instead of independent contractors.

That changed in November when California voters passed Prop 22 which exempts gig companies – like Uber and Lyft – from having to classify contractors as full time employees. 

At least three drivers filed a lawsuit in January in California’s Supreme Court alleging that Proposition 22 is unconstitutional.  Under the proposition, elected officials are not able to amend the law so that driveres have safeguards like fair compensation, the right to organize, and healthcare. 

In January 2020 Uber announced they would allow their California rideshare drivers to see ride destinations before picking up passengers and let them set pricing

In January 2020 Uber announced they would allow their California rideshare drivers to see ride destinations before picking up passengers and let them set pricing

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. The rideshare company says they are considering eliminating its visible destinations and price-naming policy

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. The rideshare company says they are considering eliminating its visible destinations and price-naming policy

If Prop 22 had not passed, experts projected that the cost of allowing drivers to be eligible for minimum wage, health care, and overtime protection, could have cost Uber an additional $500 million in annual operating cost, according to Quartz. 

By allowing the drivers more control, Uber was able to say that drivers were actually independent contractors and stop them from being reclassified as employees under the AB5 law. 

Now that the rideshare company no longer has to go out of it’s way to prove that their drivers are independent, Uber is reversing course and eliminating its visible destinations and price-naming policy, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Monday. 

By allowing the drivers more control, Uber was able to say that drivers were actually independent contractors and stop them from being reclassified as employees under the AB5 law

By allowing the drivers more control, Uber was able to say that drivers were actually independent contractors and stop them from being reclassified as employees under the AB5 law

Uber says weekly ride completion rates for San Francisco and Los Angeles Airports is less than 60%, the lowest for major airports in the country the company said

Uber says weekly ride completion rates for San Francisco and Los Angeles Airports is less than 60%, the lowest for major airports in the country the company said

‘Uber is re-evaluating past changes we made in California so we can make Uber more reliable,’ the rideshare company told the Chronicle this week. 

The changes included drivers being able to set their own fares as a multiple of an Uber base price and they could see where riders were going and could reject ride request without penalties. Riders also did not see pricing before a ride. 

Uber said that as a result, a third of California drivers declined more than 80% of their ride request, making the service unreliable.

The policy has also lead to about a fifth of potential passengers in California not ending up finding a ride, a sevenfold increase from previously, Uber said.

Uber also said the changes have disproportionately hurt airport rides, which is considered one of the most profitable sources of the company.  

Weekly ride completion rates for San Francisco and Los Angeles Airports is less than 60%, the lowest for major airports in the country the company said.  

Uber pointed out customer complaints about haggling over prices, being forced to wait longer for rides and claims of being ‘hijacked’ into higher rates at last minute because they had no wiggle room to catch another ride.   


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