It’s the shot heard around the world – at least when it comes to transportation networking companies, or TNCs. People in Texas’ capitol city voted in favor of fingerprint background checks for drivers of Uber and Lyft. And the two companies packed up their bags and decided to leave town, citing an increase in expenses that would be too costly to maintain business.
In fact, Austin isn’t the first Texas to have Uber leave town when it comes to background check requirements – Corpus Christi, Galveston, and Midland are also on the list. And rumors swirl on whether the company will pull out of Houston in the near future as well. But surely there are alternatives to the big two TNCs, right? Thats why we have the Digital Savant Omar Gallaga of 512Tech, powered by the Austin American Statesman. He says that a few companies are moving in to fill the void that Uber and Lyft left behind. But the main one, GetMe, is facing some difficulties.
“The problem with the alternatives right now is that they don’t scale up as quickly as Uber and Lyft,” he says. “They don’t have that established base of drivers that have been built up over the past couple of years and they’re struggling. The lead one, GetMe – which is the one that’s getting a lot of attention – has had a lot of problems this week. They’ve had some outages, they’ve had some emails that have gone out that shouldn’t have gone out, it’s been a bit of a mess.”
What you’ll hear in this interview:
– Other alternative companies, and where they operate
– How the fingerprinting requirement will work
– The future of TNC companies