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By Miriam Raftery

Photo: CC by SA

May 8, 2019 (San Diego) – If you need a ride today, you may need to call a taxi or catch a trolley. Uber and Lyft drivers across San Diego County are taking part in a nationwide strike for higher wages and more transparency from the ride-sharing companies.

Some 5,000  southern California drivers plan to turn off their apps today, according to Rideshare Drivers United. Picketing and a rally are also planned at Lindbergh Field’s Terminal 1 today.

The drivers are protesting Uber’s announced pan to slash per-mile compensation from 80 cents to 60 cents. They also want both companies to guarantee a $28 minimum wage to drivers, who use and maintain their own vehicles, paying for gas themselves. 

Drivers keep about $17 an hour of that $28, representatives of the drivers have indicated.

Lyft issued a statement claiming its drivers average over $20 an hour and that 75% drive less than 10 hours a week, working around other jobs.

A statement from Uber indicates it will continue working to improve the experience for drivers, with options such as stronger insurance protections, college funding and/or more consistent earnings.

Both companies are going public. Lyft made its initial public offering last week and Uber plans an IPO tomorrow.

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Drivers want more money. No surprise there, that seems to be a common theme among workers these days in all industries. Higher earnings, equals rising inflation costs everywhere else. This has become a vicious cycle, with no winners ultimately. I'm thinking a regular taxi could be less expensive, because their fare rates will probably increase as a direct result of these demands. Assuming the drivers get what they want.