Uber and Lyft, two of the most popular ridesharing apps, are leaving Austin, Texas. More than 10,000 drivers between the two companies are expected to be put out of work. But why? What caused the companies to leave the Texas capitol? Uber and Lyft are dropping out of Austin “because they didn’t get their way on Proposition 1, a ballot measure over how the services will be regulated.” Basically, the companies are throwing a temper tantrum.
A local Austin news source, KUT, breaks down the specifics of what voting “yes” or “no” meant, but basically, Proposition 1 resulted after “the Austin City Council passed an ordinance that, over time, requires Uber and Lyft drivers to undergo fingerprint-based background checks among other things,” such as being forced to identify their cars with a company logo. Prop 1 was created to put an end to that. Austin locals voted against the Proposition; apparently, they like the extra security and being able to tell that they’re getting in an Uber or a Lyft and not some stranger’s car. Not that I’ve ever done that before…
Uber and Lyft did their best to get people to vote in favor of Prop 1. They “spent more than $8 million and bombarded voters with mailers, ads, phone calls and text messages” in an effort to get what they wanted. CNN Money says that there is still a possibility for negotiations, but Uber and Lyft have both pulled out of cities before until they got their way. Right now, in Austin, the people have spoken and the majority decided that they want those stricter background checks on drivers. After the horrific shooting in Kalamazoo, I find myself agreeing with their decision.
What do you think about Uber and Lyft leaving Austin?