Expanding ride-hailing startup Alto offers unique W-2 employment to its drivers, marking a different approach from giants Uber and Lyft.
The 2018 startup launched in Dallas but has since expanded to Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Alto recently completed its millionth ride and employs about 2,000 drivers with hourly pay and health benefits, unlike Uber and Lyft, which classify drivers as independent contractors paid per minute and per mile. Most app-based ride-hailing drivers are responsible for their vehicles, while Alto provides drivers with a branded fleet vehicle.
While W-2 employment offers the protections and benefits that advocates and ride-hailing drivers say they need, it doesn't include the flexibility of app-based driving, which is an attractive part of the work, advocates say.