Due to an emergency stay granted by an appeals court, Lyft operations are expected to continue — meaning GoMonrovia will continue without interruption of service. The stay gives ride-share companies more time to appeal or comply with a ruling requiring they adhere to AB5 which requires they reclassify their contract workers as employees.
Before the stay was granted, Lyft had announced Thursday morning that it would be suspending its rideshare programs in California, including GoMonrovia, the city’s primary public transit program.
Hailed as a win by many labor organizers, AB5 would mean that drivers would be provided with benefits lick sick leave and overtime pay. According to CalMatters, “the state estimates it loses about $7 billion a year in payroll taxes due to worker misclassification that could be supporting schools, roads and other public services. Supporters of the bill argue that by avoiding unemployment insurance taxes and workers’ compensation premiums, businesses shift the burden to the state — and its taxpayers — when workers get laid off, get sick or get injured on the job.”
However, some drivers feel the legislation, though well-intentioned, takes away their freedom to choose when and where to work.
Lyft, for its part, argues the costs associated with reclassification are extreme and that they would need to overhaul their entire business model. In a blog post Thursday, Lyft said they are working with the state on alternatives. “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.”
Since the passage of AB5, Lyft and Uber have been in a legal battle with the state to exclude their companies from the law. A May lawsuit brought forth by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — who was joined by city attorneys for Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego — alleged that both companies had misclassified drivers as contractors, violating AB5 which went into effect on Jan. 1. A lower court judge then issued a preliminary injunction on Aug. 10 requiring that both firms stop classifying drivers as contractors. The injunction would have taken effect Thursday.
Now, under the stay issued Thursday, the two companies have until Tuesday at 5 p.m. to file written statements consenting to accelerated procedures, including consolidating appeals, or the stay will expire. “One of those conditions is that the CEOs of Uber and Lyft both submit sworn statements on or before Sept. 4 confirming they’ve developed plans to comply with the preliminary injunction within 30 days of a ruling if the appeals court affirms the preliminary injunction and if Proposition 22, the ballot measure that would exempt the firms from AB5, fails to pass,” according to CNBC. If both companies comply with the court’s requirements, oral arguments in the case will be heard on Oct. 13.
Uber and Lyft, already suffering financially, must also contend with competition on the periphery. Two ride-share startups, Alto and Arcade City, told CNBC they are “accelerating their plans to enter California in light of Uber and Lyft’s potential retreat.” Taxi services, already in operation throughout the state, are no doubt also preparing to potentially snag a larger portion of the market. An investment in expanding public transportation, which would also help with environmental concerns, might be another alternative to fill the gap if both companies exit California.
Monrovia Transit, the city’s dial-a-ride service also continues to operate. Monrovia Transit does give priority to residents and visitors who are seniors or have disabilities.
How to Schedule a Dial-a-Ride
Call (626) 358-3538 and provide the operator the following information:
- Name and telephone number
- Pick up time and location
- Drop off time and location
- Return trip time and location
- Any special needs (e.g., person accompanied by an aide, or in a wheelchair)