Lyft announces they will suspend all services in California due to Lorena Gonzalez’s legislation

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Ride-sharing giant Lyft has announced they will suspend all services in California at 11:59 PM Pacific time Thursday.

Lyft’s announcement comes as they continue the legal debate over driver classification. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s legislation, AB 5. AB 5 forces employers to reclassify independent contractors as employees.

San Diego Mayoral candidate Todd Gloria was a co-author of AB 5.

Due to AB 5’s regulations, thousands of Lyft drivers across California will lose an income source in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lyft published the following information regarding their decision:

At 11:59PM PT today our rideshare operations in California will be suspended. This is not something we wanted to do, as we know millions of Californians depend on Lyft for daily, essential trips. We’re personally reaching out to riders and drivers to share more about why this is happening, what you can do about it, and to provide some transportation alternatives.

Why this is happening

For multiple years, we’ve been advocating for a path to offer benefits to drivers who use the Lyft platform — including a minimum earnings guarantee and a healthcare subsidy — while maintaining the flexibility and control that independent contractors enjoy. This is something drivers have told us over and over again that they want.

Instead, what Sacramento politicians are pushing is an employment model that 4 out of 5 drivers don’t support. This change would also necessitate an overhaul of the entire business model — it’s not a switch that can be flipped overnight.

In this new model that politicians are pushing:

  • Passengers would experience reduced service, especially in suburban and rural areas

  • 80% of drivers would lose work and the rest would have scheduled shifts, and capped hourly earnings.

  • Lower-income riders trying to make it to essential jobs and medical appointments would be faced with unaffordable prices (38% of Lyft rides in California begin or end in low-income areas that have few transit options already).

What we’re doing

We don’t want to suspend operations. We are going to keep up the fight for a benefits model that works for all drivers and our riders. We’ve spent hundreds of hours meeting with policymakers and labor leaders to craft an alternative proposal for drivers that includes a minimum earnings guarantee, mileage reimbursement, a health care subsidy, and occupational accident insurance, without the negative consequences.

What you can do

Your voice can help. A ballot measure this November, Prop 22, proposes the necessary changes to give drivers benefits and flexibility, while maintaining the rideshare model that helps you get where you need to go. We believe voters should decide. Please sign up to help today.

In January of 2020, shortly after AB 5 became California law, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez joined KUSI News to respond to the thousands of Californians who were hurt by her legislation.

The complete interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez-Fletcher is below.

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