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California UberX riders will no longer see upfront pricing in response to AB5

Uber drivers in California will now also have more power to reject ride requests without penalties.

California UberX riders will no longer see upfront pricing in response to AB5
[Photo: Charles/Unsplash]
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Ride-sharing giant Uber has announced some changes to the way it shows some riders fares in response to California’s AB5 law, which went into effect on January 1 of this year. In a blog post, the company announced that riders who book UberX rides in California will no longer see the upfront pricing for the ride.

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As MarketWatch notes, that’s a big change from how it used to be for UberX California riders, who were previously able to see a set price for the private ride before booking it. The new price range those riders will be shown will be an estimate based on distance and driving time. As MarketWatch notes, private UberX rides are the most popular kinds of Uber rides in California. Riders who choose to take shared rides will still see upfront pricing.

Uber is also changing things for drivers in California. Now drivers will be able to see a ride’s estimated price ahead of accepting a trip and they’ll be allowed to reject any trip without being penalized. As MarketWatch notes, this will give California Uber drivers more leeway to reject trips that aren’t as profitable as other ones.

Uber hopes the changes they are making will allow them to argue they are not a transportation company and instead just a tech company that connects independent contractors with potential customers. By giving drivers more control over the rides they accept, Uber hopes to show that its drivers are more contractor than employee, since they’ve now got more freedom to choose which ride to accept.

This is not the only response to AB5 Uber is taking. It also has at least one lawsuit in the works and has pledged tens of millions of dollars to fight AB5 on a ballot initiative this November.