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.”
While 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.
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