Do the people of Austin, TX not realize what they just did? This ban won’t last for long once they do.
Uber and Lyft spent more than $8 million and bombarded voters with mailers, ads, phone calls and text messages. In the end, it wasn’t enough to convince residents in Austin, Texas to vote against a new fingerprint requirement for drivers.
On Saturday, Austin voted 56% to 44% against Proposition 1, which would have allowed ride-hailing companies to continue using their own background check systems. The city will now go ahead with plans to require fingerprint background checks and other regulations.
Both Uber and Lyft have announced they will no longer operate in the city as a result of the loss. Uber will stop service Monday morning at 8 am. Lyft said it will also “pause operations” on Monday.
“Disappointment does not begin to describe how we feel about shutting down operations in Austin,” said an Uber spokesperson in a statement. “We hope the City Council will reconsider their ordinance so we can work together to make the streets of Austin a safer place for everyone.”