App-Based Delivery Drivers in New York City and Seattle Report Decreased Wages and Earnings Opportunities with New Regulations

ICYMI: App-Based Delivery Drivers in New York City and Seattle Report Decreased Wages and Earnings Opportunities with New Regulations

BOSTON, MA – June 26, 2024 – The Wall Street Journal reported this week that increased regulations in New York City and Seattle around app-based delivery driver wages have resulted in decreased earnings opportunities, fewer working hours for drivers, and a drop in consumer orders.

From the Wall Street Journal story:

“Food-delivery apps have responded to cities’ new wage-increase requirements for gig workers by ratcheting up fees. Now, they are contending with frustrated consumers, plunging restaurant orders and an exodus of delivery drivers…

…Seattle, which implemented similar rules this year, is planning to roll them back because of “outcry from drivers and restaurants over its devastating” impact, Seattle City Council President Sara Nelson said…

…Uber Eats’ orders in Seattle fell 45% last quarter from the same period a year earlier after the company imposed a $4.99 fee on each order to cover the city’s new pay requirements. Demand also cooled in New York City, Uber and DoorDash said…

…Shuai Zhang, the owner of Poprice, an Asian street-food restaurant in New York City, says his delivery sales are a third of what they were before the changes…

…DoorDash said Seattle drivers have to wait between orders three times longer than before. Uber said 30% of its active delivery drivers in the city have quit its app.

Seattle driver Gary Lardizabal said he makes less money now despite working more hours. Breakfast and afternoon-snack delivery orders have disappeared. Smaller deliveries don’t make sense because of the new $4.99 fee, he said.

“People are unwilling to pay those prices for a latte,” Lardizabal said…”

New York City and Seattle are case studies of what happens when the voices of drivers are ignored, and governments impose new regulations without considering the consequences. 

For years, special interest groups have sought additional regulations that overlook what the majority of drivers want, and do not properly factor in the practical implications. When enacted, these regulations have backfired in their professed purpose of supporting drivers, instead cutting demand for services and limiting earnings opportunities. The economic impact also goes beyond drivers, cutting revenues for local businesses and raising costs for consumers, as evidenced by the WSJ story. When the positions of all stakeholders in the gig economy are not considered by governments implementing new regulations, the unintended consequences typically fall on drivers, small businesses, and consumers.

The ballot question proposed by Flexibility and Benefits for Massachusetts Drivers 2024 offers a thoughtful solution that protects and preserves drivers’ right to remain independent, while also adding new benefits. 

Learn more at


Paid for by Flexibility and Benefits for Massachusetts Drivers 2024. Top contributors: Doordash, Inc., Lyft, Inc., Maplebear Inc. D/B/A Instacart, and Uber Technologies, Inc. For more information regarding contributors, go to  

Julianne Hester