The saying, they won the battle but lost the war rings true for some voters in Austin. Last year, after a prolonged conflict with ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft, Austin seemed to best the big two. By implementing fingerprinting regulations for drivers of ridesharing vehicles, the City of Austin caused the companies to pack up and leave. Recent legislation signed by the governor, however, has brought both companies back to the city.
The prevailing argument in favor of Uber and Lyft returning, according to Omar Gallaga of the Austin American-Statesman’s 512 Tech, was that those who voted to support fingerprint screening for drivers weren’t themselves rideshare app users.
But Gallaga explains that Uber and Lyft did themselves no favors by trying to remain in Austin in the first place.
“It was a very tone-deaf campaign,” Gallaga says. “The companies themselves will admit that they … turned a lot of people against them.”
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– Whether Austinites prefer Uber and Lyft to competitors
– The three big lessons learned from the companies’ departure
– Which ridesharing companies could be next to leave the city
Written by Louise Rodriguez.