Uber and Lyft Suspending Service In Austin Starting Monday

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According to the Austin  Statesman, “Uber finally put a date and time to its pullout threat: 8 a.m. Monday” and, “Lyft reiterated its threat to terminate service in the city as of 5 a.m. Monday.”

imageWhile both companies say they want to continue to operate in Austin, Austin voters on Satuday rejected Proposition 1 which would have overturned a City Council ordinance that was not friendly towards the two ride-hailing companies.  Only 17 percent of the Austinites voted, and 56 percent of those voting voted to reject the proposition which would overturn the ordinance.

“The results keep in place the ordinance that the City Council approved in December, which requires drivers with ride-hailing apps to undergo fingerprint-based background checks by Feb. 1, 2017. The city’s ordinance also prohibits drivers from stopping in traffic lanes for passenger dropoffs and pickups, requires “trade dress” to identify vehicles for hire, and imposes a variety of data reporting requirements on the ride-hailing companies,” says the Austin Statesman.

Bottm Line:

Both Uber and Lyft have been known to play hardball, and it looks like they will be retreating from Austin – at least for the time being.  The biggest losers are the people who rely on Uber and Lyft – as Austin relies heavily on cars for transportation.  So is it back to cabs? Mass transit? Or will there be another solution?  What do you think?

If you haven’t signed up for Lyft yet, you can also do so via my referral and get $50 in free ride credit. If you still haven’t tried Uber yet, you can still get a credit towards your first ride with my referral link, here

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  1. I’m ok with the temporary inconvenience in exchange for the longer term safety and regulations that they’re trying to impose.

  2. Actually, the biggest losers aren’t the customers. The biggest losers are the Uber and Lyft drivers who rely on this for their income and were just cut loose from their ’employer’/’contractor’ (whatever Uber is to their drivers). Those are the ones caught short by Uber and Lyft hardball tactics. Sounds like the voters had their say. Democracy means sometimes companies don’t always get their way.

  3. Gah! I’m on my way to Austin right now and Uber was my plan for getting between my hotel and the conference location. Really annoyed!

  4. Taking a taxi is actually about the same price most of the time in Austin. And going around Downtown and central area might even be cheaper by taxi at times when uberlyft did surge pricing. It’s the availability of cabs that can be the issue, and their reputation for being seedy and drivers often being rude.

  5. You left out the most important part Uber and Lyft spent over $8.8 million on the elections, the local opposition just over $150,000. The word on the street is local start up getme app is already up with 500 drivers and expects to add 5000 over the next few months especially once lyft and uber are gone. Its kinda redic, the regulations don’t go in effect until Feb 2017, uber is just being a giant two year old, they have operated in Houston for over a year with regulations that require PHYSICALS as well and just fingerprints nearly a year away is a good reason to pull out. Uber and Lyft lost a lot of goodwill here in Austin.

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