Rideshare Company Uses Polling to Show Legislators its Workers Prefer Flexibility 

“We came to Cygnal with a unique issue set and a tough audience, all under a tight deadline. Brent and the Cygnal team worked with us seamlessly to better understand what our drivers were really looking for and help advocate for legislation in the state legislature.” — Communications Manager at TNC Company


In the face of increased pressure to classify gig workers as W-2 employees, rideshare companies wanted to pass legislation that would cement drivers’ status as independent contractors while providing a range of benefits – something not possible through current law. A TNC company was sure their drivers did not want this reclassification because they enjoyed the flexibility of the arrangement, but there was no data to prove the fact. On top of that, from a survey-response perspective, finding and then polling TNC drivers was extremely challenging.


Many in the media and opponents at the Capitol made the case that rideshare drivers were being exploited by not being made full-time W-2 employees. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star claimed the bill supported by TNC companies, “…would deny app-based workers their rights as employees, and effectively make them second-class workers with substandard wages and benefits.” 

The truth of the matter, according to rideshare drivers themselves as found in a Cygnal survey, painted a very different picture. The polling showed drivers valued the autonomy and flexibility of working the “gig economy,” and a lion’s share said they were happy with their current status as rideshare drivers. Many drivers also cited rideshare apps as great “side-hustles” that augmented income from their primary, full-time jobs. Contrary to the media’s claims, nearly all rideshare drivers were adamant that they preferred the flexibility of the app over any benefits that came from being full-time W-2 employees. This was all possible due to Cygnal’s ability to poll difficult-to-reach audiences. 


While other political interests and the media tried to say rideshare workers wanted more benefits and structure, the poll of drivers proved them wrong. The results of the poll were used to educate legislators and the media and continue the push to preserve flexibility in gig work. The poll remains a center point of ongoing legislative negotiations.