Uber leaving Minneapolis: Lyft driver says current pay is great

A Lyft driver is questioning why other ride-hailing drivers claim they can't make $15 an hour after Minneapolis passed an ordinance to give drivers a pay raise.

Travis Joseph, who has been driving for Lyft for five years, with well over 10,000 rides, says he makes great money.

"I’m in the realm of fifty dollars on a slow day to almost a hundred. There’s bonuses, there’s tips, there’s bonus areas so it just depends. I’m not sure how these drivers aren’t making fifteen dollars an hour and every driver and rider I’ve talked to has the same confusion," he said.

Driver pay has been in the spotlight in the Twin Cities after the Minneapolis City Council passed a ride-hailing driver minimum wage ordinance last week. As a result, Uber and Lyft say they plan to stop servicing Minneapolis starting May 1. Governor Walz has expressed his hope for a solution to be reached before then.

However, Joseph says this situation never had to happen. He believes some drivers may not be accepting certain low-paying rides, might not be getting good ratings, or aren't active at the busiest times.

Joseph, who starts his day at 4 a.m. and drives for four hours before heading to his other job, shared his Lyft payments for the last two weeks, demonstrating he’s making almost fifty dollars an hour working twenty hours a week. Last year, his tax documents show he made $65,000 from Lyft.

"Sunday through Sunday I’m working. But if you do it right, you can make the money," Joseph added.

He hopes the state steps in to stop Uber and Lyft from leaving because, for him, it’s a flexible, high-paying job he needs to make ends meet.

"Cars are a tax write-off, your cell phone is a tax write-off, your insurance is a tax write-off. I’m not sure how they’re not making money," he commented.

Joseph also noted some drivers wait at the airport for their next ride, which can sometimes take hours. In the end, he says, that doesn’t pay off.