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New State Regulations for Uber Drivers

Spock B

Member
To all

Perhaps all drivers should look at the new regulations being proposed in the State Legislature regarding regulation of TNC and drivers in Louisiana.

I can't post a link to the legislation at this time but look up House Bill 527. This bill has already gone through committee and is currently in debate so urgent action is required!

Four things that should concern all drivers are the following;

1. A driver will be required to obtain a permit to drive. No specification as to detail or how much this will cost.
2. A driver may be terminated or precluded from driving for "ANY DRIVING RELATED OFFENSE".
3. The TNC will collect a 1 percent assessment (read tax) on behalf of a TNC driver for every ride. No mention of how this will be taken out, whether this will result in a decrease in ongoign income or how this will affect driver income statements but it will affect driver income one way or another as it is levied by the TNC "on behalf of the driver".
4. A driver will be required under law to sign a document stating they are an independent contractor. This has obviously been introduced by the TNC's in light of law suits brought against them in other states.

The ride share companies apparently trotted forth various drivers to say how great this all is but there was obviously no representation present on behalf of drivers in general and the impacts this will have. I would suggest that everyone contact their State representative and complain re the lack of adequate driver representation, the lack of detail and protections in the bill for drivers for redress or complaints against drivers and why drivers should pay an assessment when it is the TNC that sets prices and policies.
 

Spock B

Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Hi uber_cash

Unfortunately you are mistaken. They are actually behind this and even announced that it was happening at the Uber function at City Park. They want this legislation and in its current form for a number of reasons.

Firstly they can expand to other cities in Louisiana without protracted negotiation with local governments. In effect it allows them access to the whole State.

Secondly the inclusion of the requirement for drivers to sign an agreement that states that drivers are independent contractors is in response to the fact that Uber has been sued and settled a number of cases where it was determined that drivers are effectively employees. After all, with the exception of the hours you drive, everything else including what you get is dictated by Uber. For example Uber states that a driver is not allowed to carry a firearm. So I would imagine the driver who defended himself against a car jacker in April has probably had his account closed. In other words he lost his job. The fact that the policy is in direct contravention of State Law and the Second Amendment is irrelevant. If a driver is truly an independent contractor then Uber should not be able to set policies in contradiction to the Law. After all Uber does not own your vehicle and is quick to disassociate itself with any problem you may have unless it directly affects your ability to earn them money. For example they will bill a rider if they mess up your vehicle or damage your vehicle but only cover liability in respect of riders in your vehicle. If you were injured or your vehicle was off the road for two months would they cover your loss of income? Of course not.

Uber sets the prices it charges riders as well as what a driver receives. The legislation states that it will collect a 1 percent assessment for each and every ride "on behalf of drivers". This does not mean that Uber will necessarily raise its charges to riders to cover it as the legislation puts the onus on the driver and not the TNC. The TNC only collects the fee. Uber recently raised its booking fee by over 20% to supposedly cover increased operational costs. I personally have not seen anything better being offered here. Lets look at the recent survey which supposedly asked if you preferred higher returns on short rides or retaining the current airport fees. Drivers never saw any results from this but it would be apparent to anyone that there are far more shorter trips conducted than airport trips. Never the less Uber stated that the overwhelming response was to keep the airport fees. Instead they then dropped the minimum fare to $4 but raised their booking fee. In other words drivers got less but Uber actually made more. So look for the future where drivers receive even less as they are charged a further 1% to meet the assessment. Note also that the 1% assessment is based on the "Total Charge" or gross trip fare to the rider which would include what Uber makes from the trip however the driver is paying it.

Lastly the provisions of the legislation state that you cannot be a driver if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor within the last seven years "of any driving related offense". This actually conflicts with an earlier statement which states that you are precluded from driving if you have more than three moving violations in the prior three years. Not being an attorney I am assuming a moving violation is not considered a conviction never the less the wording provides an expansive reason for not being approved. For example if you fought a seat belt ticket in court and were ultimately convicted would that remove your ability to drive.

Lastly remember that Uber's business model is to saturate a city with drivers. They do not care whether a driver can make a living or not. Only that there are enough drivers so they continue to make their money. Uber does very little to promote professionalism, driver or vehicle standards to encourage riders to continue to use their services. If they close a driver's account they just keep recruiting. Have you seen any tangible rewards for good driving, high ratings or number of completed trips. All I have ever received after doing over 5000 trips is an Uber light which melts in sunlight and a text saying what a great job I'm doing. Their only promotion is $200 for inviting another driver to join. This is just plain stupid as a driver should realize that the more drivers they recruit, the less money they will make. All this legislation does is give TNC's like Uber and Lyft carte blanche for the whole State and provides protections to them against possible law suits while giving the State and parishes another tax to levy on us.
 

Xanvel

Active Member
Hi uber_cash

Unfortunately you are mistaken. They are actually behind this and even announced that it was happening at the Uber function at City Park. They want this legislation and in its current form for a number of reasons.

Firstly they can expand to other cities in Louisiana without protracted negotiation with local governments. In effect it allows them access to the whole State.

Secondly the inclusion of the requirement for drivers to sign an agreement that states that drivers are independent contractors is in response to the fact that Uber has been sued and settled a number of cases where it was determined that drivers are effectively employees. After all, with the exception of the hours you drive, everything else including what you get is dictated by Uber. For example Uber states that a driver is not allowed to carry a firearm. So I would imagine the driver who defended himself against a car jacker in April has probably had his account closed. In other words he lost his job. The fact that the policy is in direct contravention of State Law and the Second Amendment is irrelevant. If a driver is truly an independent contractor then Uber should not be able to set policies in contradiction to the Law. After all Uber does not own your vehicle and is quick to disassociate itself with any problem you may have unless it directly affects your ability to earn them money. For example they will bill a rider if they mess up your vehicle or damage your vehicle but only cover liability in respect of riders in your vehicle. If you were injured or your vehicle was off the road for two months would they cover your loss of income? Of course not.

Uber sets the prices it charges riders as well as what a driver receives. The legislation states that it will collect a 1 percent assessment for each and every ride "on behalf of drivers". This does not mean that Uber will necessarily raise its charges to riders to cover it as the legislation puts the onus on the driver and not the TNC. The TNC only collects the fee. Uber recently raised its booking fee by over 20% to supposedly cover increased operational costs. I personally have not seen anything better being offered here. Lets look at the recent survey which supposedly asked if you preferred higher returns on short rides or retaining the current airport fees. Drivers never saw any results from this but it would be apparent to anyone that there are far more shorter trips conducted than airport trips. Never the less Uber stated that the overwhelming response was to keep the airport fees. Instead they then dropped the minimum fare to $4 but raised their booking fee. In other words drivers got less but Uber actually made more. So look for the future where drivers receive even less as they are charged a further 1% to meet the assessment. Note also that the 1% assessment is based on the "Total Charge" or gross trip fare to the rider which would include what Uber makes from the trip however the driver is paying it.

Lastly the provisions of the legislation state that you cannot be a driver if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor within the last seven years "of any driving related offense". This actually conflicts with an earlier statement which states that you are precluded from driving if you have more than three moving violations in the prior three years. Not being an attorney I am assuming a moving violation is not considered a conviction never the less the wording provides an expansive reason for not being approved. For example if you fought a seat belt ticket in court and were ultimately convicted would that remove your ability to drive.

Lastly remember that Uber's business model is to saturate a city with drivers. They do not care whether a driver can make a living or not. Only that there are enough drivers so they continue to make their money. Uber does very little to promote professionalism, driver or vehicle standards to encourage riders to continue to use their services. If they close a driver's account they just keep recruiting. Have you seen any tangible rewards for good driving, high ratings or number of completed trips. All I have ever received after doing over 5000 trips is an Uber light which melts in sunlight and a text saying what a great job I'm doing. Their only promotion is $200 for inviting another driver to join. This is just plain stupid as a driver should realize that the more drivers they recruit, the less money they will make. All this legislation does is give TNC's like Uber and Lyft carte blanche for the whole State and provides protections to them against possible law suits while giving the State and parishes another tax to levy on us.
EXCELLENT POST!
 

tohunt4me

Well-Known Member
To all

Perhaps all drivers should look at the new regulations being proposed in the State Legislature regarding regulation of TNC and drivers in Louisiana.

I can't post a link to the legislation at this time but look up House Bill 527. This bill has already gone through committee and is currently in debate so urgent action is required!

Four things that should concern all drivers are the following;

1. A driver will be required to obtain a permit to drive. No specification as to detail or how much this will cost.
2. A driver may be terminated or precluded from driving for "ANY DRIVING RELATED OFFENSE".
3. The TNC will collect a 1 percent assessment (read tax) on behalf of a TNC driver for every ride. No mention of how this will be taken out, whether this will result in a decrease in ongoign income or how this will affect driver income statements but it will affect driver income one way or another as it is levied by the TNC "on behalf of the driver".
4. A driver will be required under law to sign a document stating they are an independent contractor. This has obviously been introduced by the TNC's in light of law suits brought against them in other states.

The ride share companies apparently trotted forth various drivers to say how great this all is but there was obviously no representation present on behalf of drivers in general and the impacts this will have. I would suggest that everyone contact their State representative and complain re the lack of adequate driver representation, the lack of detail and protections in the bill for drivers for redress or complaints against drivers and why drivers should pay an assessment when it is the TNC that sets prices and policies.
Union.
Drivers need REAL REPRESENTATION.

ALL OF THESE GREEDY GOVT. BODIES COUNTING WHAT THEY CAN TAKE FROM US.

UNION.

On a side note : has anyone been caught yet for shooting that taxi driver in New Orleans east yet ???
 

Debbie504

Active Member
You must really pay attention to all of the amendments that were added to this house bill. From what Im told they have made a bunch of changes and that even if passed their still will be legal hurdles to climb to take away control from local govts that have already passed regulations. New Orleans, which by far had the most TNC traffic, has a home rule charter and a taxicab ordinance that predates the 1974 Constitution. That makes it highly possible, if not likely, that HB 527 will either be declared unconstitutional or inapplicable to the Big Easy and also for other cities or parishes. It would not surprise me if Kenner tries to pass something before the July 1st deadline of state regulations taking over. Lots of other states who have passed these state wide regulations have cities or counties that had no regulations for TNC and no home rule charter.

Also the have made changes to the airport in this house bill. I am told that the airport will still be able to charge certain fee's and rates.
 

Spock B

Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
To all

The bill has passed the House by a vote of 79 - 12 and is now going before the Senate Transportation Committee and then to the Senate. I have read the bill with its current amendments and it makes no effort to fix anything other than the Department of Agriculture and Forestry will be the administrative and investigating body which in itself poses the question as to why?

I have forwarded both a letter detailing items in this legislation to my Senator as well as follow up emails and they have replied that they will propose questions in relation to the issues I have raised.

I sincerely hope this legislation is not passed in its current form. I do not object to allowing ride share to expand but not at the expense of drivers. Ubers business model is to simply saturate a city with drivers. They are a never ending source for Uber so they do not care about drivers. The proposed law would see drivers paying the 1% assessment on the TOTAL trip fare charged to the rider. In other words you pay tax on what Uber earns for the ride as well as on what you make. It forces you to sign an agreement stating you are an independent contractor which is totally against IRS guidelines. It provides that you can have your account closed for conviction of "any driving-related offense" in the past seven years and it requires immediate suspension of your account for any allegation by a rider of violating the proposed zero substance abuse policy before it is even investigated or substantiated. It also grants under legislation that a TNC may not control, direct or manage a personal vehicle or TNC driver who connects to its digital network EXCEPT where agreed to by written contract. Have you seen this contract? Is it negotiable? I doubt it. Uber is setting policies now on both drivers and riders which violate State law such as the Zero firearms policy for drivers. Yet part of this proposed agreement is that you be an independent contractor. In other words no acceptance of any liability on the part of Uber. Part of the current contract also states you can have your contract closed for "disparagement of its company or affiliates". What is that supposed to mean? So i can have my account closed for writing this article?

Uber wants its cake and wants to eat it as well. It controls everything about the operation except when you drive (whoops sorry they can close your account if you haven't driven in a month) and also wants to get legislation in place to force your IRS status to be an independent contractor. They will bill a rider if they throw up or leave glitter in a car because that is down time from driving but if a rider steals something from your vehicle they say it is your problem.

I enjoy doing Uber for a number of reasons. I think it can and does provide a great service to the community. But I really hate being bent over and screwed royally. We do not have a driver association or representation so it is up to the individual to voice their objections to their senators. Send them NOW as it goes to the Transportation committee Thursday and then on to the Senate
 

Debbie504

Active Member
Their were amendments made to the airport fee and others as well. Im sure they may even have more amendments made in the senate.
 

ubertruther

Active Member
Louisiana politicians come cheap. Uber probably is going to run roughshod over the legislature.

Clancy DuBous had an excellent column in Gambit. He said you know a bill is awful when they have to an army of lobbyists roaming the halls of the legislature trying to sell the legislation to the elected officials.
 

tohunt4me

Well-Known Member
Hi uber_cash

Unfortunately you are mistaken. They are actually behind this and even announced that it was happening at the Uber function at City Park. They want this legislation and in its current form for a number of reasons.

Firstly they can expand to other cities in Louisiana without protracted negotiation with local governments. In effect it allows them access to the whole State.

Secondly the inclusion of the requirement for drivers to sign an agreement that states that drivers are independent contractors is in response to the fact that Uber has been sued and settled a number of cases where it was determined that drivers are effectively employees. After all, with the exception of the hours you drive, everything else including what you get is dictated by Uber. For example Uber states that a driver is not allowed to carry a firearm. So I would imagine the driver who defended himself against a car jacker in April has probably had his account closed. In other words he lost his job. The fact that the policy is in direct contravention of State Law and the Second Amendment is irrelevant. If a driver is truly an independent contractor then Uber should not be able to set policies in contradiction to the Law. After all Uber does not own your vehicle and is quick to disassociate itself with any problem you may have unless it directly affects your ability to earn them money. For example they will bill a rider if they mess up your vehicle or damage your vehicle but only cover liability in respect of riders in your vehicle. If you were injured or your vehicle was off the road for two months would they cover your loss of income? Of course not.

Uber sets the prices it charges riders as well as what a driver receives. The legislation states that it will collect a 1 percent assessment for each and every ride "on behalf of drivers". This does not mean that Uber will necessarily raise its charges to riders to cover it as the legislation puts the onus on the driver and not the TNC. The TNC only collects the fee. Uber recently raised its booking fee by over 20% to supposedly cover increased operational costs. I personally have not seen anything better being offered here. Lets look at the recent survey which supposedly asked if you preferred higher returns on short rides or retaining the current airport fees. Drivers never saw any results from this but it would be apparent to anyone that there are far more shorter trips conducted than airport trips. Never the less Uber stated that the overwhelming response was to keep the airport fees. Instead they then dropped the minimum fare to $4 but raised their booking fee. In other words drivers got less but Uber actually made more. So look for the future where drivers receive even less as they are charged a further 1% to meet the assessment. Note also that the 1% assessment is based on the "Total Charge" or gross trip fare to the rider which would include what Uber makes from the trip however the driver is paying it.

Lastly the provisions of the legislation state that you cannot be a driver if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor within the last seven years "of any driving related offense". This actually conflicts with an earlier statement which states that you are precluded from driving if you have more than three moving violations in the prior three years. Not being an attorney I am assuming a moving violation is not considered a conviction never the less the wording provides an expansive reason for not being approved. For example if you fought a seat belt ticket in court and were ultimately convicted would that remove your ability to drive.

Lastly remember that Uber's business model is to saturate a city with drivers. They do not care whether a driver can make a living or not. Only that there are enough drivers so they continue to make their money. Uber does very little to promote professionalism, driver or vehicle standards to encourage riders to continue to use their services. If they close a driver's account they just keep recruiting. Have you seen any tangible rewards for good driving, high ratings or number of completed trips. All I have ever received after doing over 5000 trips is an Uber light which melts in sunlight and a text saying what a great job I'm doing. Their only promotion is $200 for inviting another driver to join. This is just plain stupid as a driver should realize that the more drivers they recruit, the less money they will make. All this legislation does is give TNC's like Uber and Lyft carte blanche for the whole State and provides protections to them against possible law suits while giving the State and parishes another tax to levy on us.
I didnt even bother to go pick up my uber light.

Thanks Spok.
 
We should write to the governor or flood his office with calls too and tell him to veto this bill. We should also send photos or videos of what we make on trips, how far we have to travel to pick up $3 fares and the hours we put in trying to make $100 a day. Now with this new leas time and the airport crap, you make even less. I felt bad picking up fares coming off of ramp knowing my fellow drivers are just stuck in que. This is an attempt to get drivers in the city for those pimp fares.
 

Debbie504

Active Member
I have heard that this will not pass and it isn't even close to passing. Anyone else know?
 
Last edited:

Spock B

Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
Joe is correct. They shelved this bill yesterday but not because of the onerous conditions or the impact on drivers but because the City would lose $2 million dollars if they only received the 1% instead of the 50 cents per ride they are getting now. After all 1% on a $6 ride is only 6 cents. The amount lost in itself tells a story because it shows that there are at least about 4 million rides per year in the New Orleans area. So how much do the TNC's make just on their booking fees let alone their service fees. I'll let you do the math!
 

jeanocelot

Active Member
Lastly remember that Uber's business model is to saturate a city with drivers. They do not care whether a driver can make a living or not. Only that there are enough drivers so they continue to make their money. Uber does very little to promote professionalism, driver or vehicle standards to encourage riders to continue to use their services.
Actually, Uber's business model is to *tolerate* human drivers long enough to let the driverless cars take over.

An economist would classify the Uber system as a "perfect competition" system, with the net price given for drivers being as low as drivers can take (i.e., "reservation wage") while still having enough drivers around to supply the service. Additionally, Uber's model is to take advantage of a lot of folks not properly pricing the depreciation of their cars, so that folks use the value of their cars to extract cash from it, without realizing that they have extracted more value than they actually received in cash. And of course, once such folks realize the situation and quit, Uber is always looking for new drivers. Now that said, a wise Uberer would optimize this depreciation, but that can get a bit tricky.
 
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