This Week In Rideshare: Minimum Wage, Self-driving, and Profit.

4 min readFeb 16, 2024


The war for wages, self-driving goes in circles, and Uber ends in the black. LegalRideshare breaks it down.


Corporations go head-to-head with workers trying to make a living. The Stranger adds:

Billion-dollar corporations such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, GrubHub, and InstaCart started ramping up their cry-bully tactics against gig workers after the City of Seattle instituted new “Pay Up”-branded protections on January 13 of this year. Workers don’t want you or the brand new, business-backed City Council to fall for it.

“They’ll cry, they’ll throw themselves on the ground, kicking and screaming like a toddler. Anything to make reasonable labor policy fail,” said driver and Pay Up advocate Carmen Figueroa.

In 2022, former Council Members Lisa Herbold and Andrew Lewis passed a minimum wage ordinance, something workers in other sectors have enjoyed for more than 85 years. Through messages to their customers and statements in the press, app-based delivery companies have set up a narrative that a minimum wage has actually hurt the workers this legislation aimed to help.


The AV future has turned into a pipe dream. The Verge adds:

One of the hallmarks of the race to develop autonomous vehicles has been wildly optimistic predictions about when they’ll be ready for daily use. The landscape is positively littered with missed deadlines.

The amount of money flowing into the autonomous vehicle space also had the knock-on effect of convincing regulators to take a lax approach when it comes to self-driving cars. AV boosters warned that too many rules would “stifle innovation” and jeopardize future gains, whether that was safety or job creation.

When training an AI program on driving, you can predict a lot of what to expect, but you can’t predict everything. And when those edge cases eventually emerge, the car can make mistakes — sometimes with tragic consequences.


Uber finally makes a profit. But at what cost? Disconnect adds:

Between 2014 and 2023, the company set over $31 billion on fire in its quest to drive taxi companies out of business and build a global monopoly. It failed on both fronts, but in the meantime it built an organization that can wield significant power over transportation — and that’s exactly how it got to last week’s milestone.

The profit it’s reporting is purely due to exploitative business practices where the worker and consumer are squeezed to serve investors — and technology is the tool to do it. This is the moment CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has been working toward for years, and the plan he’s trying to implement to cement the company’s position should have us all concerned about the future of how we get around and how we work.

As transport analyst Hubert Horan outlined, for-hire rides are not a service that can take advantage of economies of scale like a software or logistics company, meaning just because you deliver more rides doesn’t mean the per-ride cost gets significantly cheaper. Uber actually created a less cost-efficient model because it forces drivers to use their own vehicles and buy their own insurance instead of having a fleet of similar vehicles covered by fleet insurance.

For years, workers have been protesting and organizing to try to claw back the power they lost when Uber sold labor exploitation as innovation to credulous governments that rolled out the red carpet for the supposed innovator. The most high-profile of these campaigns was in California, where workers were successful in pushing the state government to pass Assembly Bill 5 that effectively made them employees, only for the platform companies to rally behind a ballot measure that became known as Proposition 22. The companies deceptively presented it as a progressive policy to help workers in the gig economy when it actually nullified their victory and cemented their status as independent contractors.

LegalRideshare is the first law firm in the United States to focus exclusively on Uber®, Lyft®, gig workers, delivery and e-scooter accidents and injuries. Consultations are always free.




We’re the only law firm in the US entirely focused on Uber, Lyft, and gig worker accident and injury claims. FREE CONSULTATIONS at