Uber’s New Minimum Wage

and why it hasn’t yet gone into effect

Keri Savoca
5 min readDec 26, 2018


A photo of an exhausted Uber driver waiting for the minimum wage regulation to go into effect — any day now! We promise! Maybe. by why kei on Unsplash

In early December, the Washington Post (among other news outlets) reported that ride-sharing drivers in New York City would now be entitled to a minimum wage. The Taxi and Limousine Commission set this rate at $17.22 per hour after expenses, and estimated that most drivers would see an annual wage increase of approximately $10,000.

The early media coverage was promising: by the end of 2018, drivers would be guaranteed an hourly rate of $26.41 before expenses, even taking into consideration long rides outside of New York City without customers for the return trip. After expenses, drivers could expect to earn $17.22 per hour, as long as they were online and accepting rides.

Sounds like a nice change. Except for the fact that nobody has said a word since then.

Today is December 26, 2018. It’s the end of 2018. Time for the new regulation to kick in. Right? Silence.

Several articles claimed that the regulation would go into effect within 20 days, meaning December 24, 2018. That day has come and passed. An official notice stated that it would take 30 days (putting us into early January).

Meanwhile, Uber hasn’t said a word to their drivers about the regulation, and from the looks of it, no changes are on the horizon.

I decided to call Uber directly to see what’s going on.

The only way to get in touch with Uber is through the driver app. I have a defunct driver app from over a year ago, but it still seems to work. A customer service representative answered the phone.

“I’m wondering when the new minimum wage will go into effect,” I asked.

“You will always find out how much a trip is worth when you start driving.”

“No, I mean the new minimum wage. You know — the guaranteed rate in New York City? It was all over the news?”

“Oh, let me look into that for you.”


“Hmm, yes, as I said, when you start driving, you will always know the minimum amount you will be paid for…



Keri Savoca

Engineering Manager at Compass