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Hours after the Minneapolis City Council postponed a May 1 wage hike for Uber and Lyft drivers, scores of Twin Cities rideshare drivers, labor leaders and officials from a handful of new rideshare company hopefuls rallied to discuss the next steps in partnering with state legislators to ensure fair wages for 10,000 drivers.

Eid Ali, president of the Minnesota Uber/Lyft Drivers Association (MULDA), said his group's "pursuit of a fair wage remains unwavering," even as both Uber and Lyft said they will now wait until July 1 before deciding to leave the Minneapolis market due to the council's mandated pay raise.

"We need to stand firm and stand our ground," said MULDA Vice President Marianna Brown. "The government needs to support more than the big corporations. We want to see a solution and for you not to just tell us wait, wait, wait. We need action now."

City Council Members Robin Wonsley and Aurin Chowdhury and Council President Elliott Payne told the crowd the two-month delay in enacting the city's pay ordinance should give state legislators more time to come up with a statewide remedy that ensures all Minnesota rideshare drivers make at least the minimum wage.

"Today, we reaffirmed our commitment to workers in the city of Minneapolis and made room for more protections in not just the city of Minneapolis, but statewide," Payne said a cheering crowd.

The delay will also allow more time for new rideshare companies wishing to enter this market to "come in, get set up and running," said Council Member Jamal Osman.

To date, four companies — Moov, MyWeels, Wridz and Joiryde — have applied for rideshare licenses in the city of Minneapolis and are awaiting approval. Six other firms, including California-based Hich MN, which was represented Thursday, expressed interest in starting rideshare businesses here but have yet to submit license applications.

A seventh entity, a cooperative that would be owned by local drivers, also is working in the wings to fill the void left by Uber and Lyft, should they actually leave. Co-op members are working with MULDA but have yet to apply for a license.

On Thursday, two new ride app firms came forward as well.

Niko Lemieux from St. Paul said he and a partner expect to file for a license by the end of the month so they can bring the Teleport Ride Share app to Minneapolis. The app already operates in College Station, Texas, and was recently licensed in Florida, Indiana and Arizona.

At the invitation of University of Minnesota professors, Shan Ms said he and two partners flew in from Bangalore, India, on Thursday to tell the Minneapolis City Council and the crowd of drivers that they planned to bring the Bridge app, by Juspay, to Minnesota in the coming weeks.

Juspay and its partners have 1,300 employees globally and previously raised $100 million to support rideshare operations and other technology applications in different countries, Ms said. "We are super committed to making the app work" in Minneapolis, he said.

Minnesota's 10,000 to 12,000 rideshare drivers say Uber and Lyft end up taking 40 to 70% of what passengers pay, leaving drivers with less than a minimum wage and without enough to cover gas, car repairs and living expenses. Uber and Lyft dispute that and also have recently changed policy to give drivers 70% of fares minus fees and charges.

The law in Minneapolis was set to change May 1 to set a minimum wage of $1.40 per mile and 51 cents per minute for rideshare drivers, after the City Council overturned a veto by Mayor Jacob Frey. Thursday's vote keeps the new ordinance but postpones when it goes into effect.

Uber and Lyft's threats to leave the Minneapolis area have sparked a lot of interest from outside players. But the cost of operating a rideshare business is not for the faint of heart. It costs $37,000 for a license in Minneapolis, plus a $10,000 wheelchair accessibility fee. St. Paul's license fee is $41,000. MSP Airport requires a $10,000 security deposit and a $500 license fee.

Separately, it costs about $150,000 to secure a commercial auto insurance policy for a rideshare company.