"...Rideshare firms Uber and Lyft have announced they plan to return to Austin, as Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign transportation network company law House Bill 100..."
"...In this week's News Roundup: The Uber/Lyft alliance battles City Council for the hearts and minds of Austin residents; charges against activist Antonio Buehler are dropped (again); Austin wins recognition for its bike-friendly infrastructure; and more ......"
"...On Monday March 14, the Texas Supreme Court denied the Uber-backed writ of mandamus from Samantha Phelps, which requested an emergency stay to require City Council to rewrite the ballot language for the May 7 ordinance regarding transportation network companies (TNCs)...."
"...If you thought that the controversy between the city of Austin and transportation network companies Uber and Lyft would die down a bit until the May 7 election, you’d be wrong...."
"...After a little more than a year of self-imposed exile, Uber and Lyft have returned to Austin. Both of the transportation network companies' apps recommenced operations by mid-afternoon on Monday, just after Gov..."
"...Drivers for Uber met at the Yarborough Library in North Austin Sunday afternoon, Aug. 9, to talk about the ways they're getting hosed..."
"...Two weeks after Uber announced that 53 drivers who failed the company's background checks had been issued chauffeur's licenses by the city, KXAN revealed that Austin police are investigating claims that seven different drivers for Uber and Lyft sexually assaulted their riders between the months of April and August. The report notes that five of the allegations involve Uber drivers; two drove for Lyft...."
"...“Comply” seemed to be the operative word last night in negotiations. As recently as Thursday morning, conditions of the ordinance hinged on a matter of eligibility; in addition to the other terms held within the language, drivers would need to pass fingerprint-based criminal background checks in order to be eligible to drive for a TNC – which, until recently, meant little else besides Lyft and Uber..."
"...note: Late Friday evening, the City Aviation Dept. announced that they had come to an agreement to allow Uber to operate at the airport "on a temporary basis." See update below.)..."
"...On July 24, the Texas Civil Rights Project filed what have become its annual Americans With Disability Act lawsuits, presenting 30 different allegations that companies within the state have violated federal disability laws. Among the 30, the TCRP named Austin taxi giant Yellow Cab and transportation network companies Uber and Lyft, the three companies most mentioned in the ongoing development of this city's eventual transportation network ecosystem..."
"...The ongoing battle between City Council and Uber and Lyft shows no signs of abating. Ridesharing Works for Austin, a TNC-funded and supported political action group, submitted 23,000 of what they claim are more than 65,000 signatures on a petition to overturn Council's Dec..."
"...The circus surrounding the uninvited arrival of "transportation networking companies" grew another ring last week when Uber – the San Francisco-based company valued last week at $18 billion – rolled into town, throwing its ceremonial first ride to the celebrated local chef Paul Qui...."
"...7]. To be a cab driver I must: 1) Pass a 10-year criminal background check (fingerprint) through the DPS and FBI databases. … Uber? Nope. 2) Provide a three-year certified driving record to prove I've had no accidents or moving violation..."
"...Eversole’s two-page letter is a fairly flagrant attempt to persuade Foxx to take a dim view of Austin’s current regulations governing transportation network companies – Uber and Lyft – and she echoes in detail both the TNCs' campaign arguments and their threat to cease Austin operations if the city’s voters reject Prop. 1, the TNC-written ordinance that (among other company-favored changes) would block fingerprinting of drivers..."
"...It's been a tough week for the Uber/Lyft forces pushing Proposition 1 on the May 7 city ballot. Aside from the embarrassing campaign finance filings (see "Campaign Finance Reports Shed Light on Prop 1 PAC Spending," April 15), the Austin Sierra Club Executive Committee voted last week "to oppose Uber and Lyft's attempt to circumvent regulations created by the City Council to protect the citizens of Austin..."
"...Apologies to anybody who wished talk of transportation network companies (TNCs) would take a holiday. No sooner than five hours after learning that Lyft and Uber had banded with TechNet, ATX Safer Streets, and Austin Music People to introduce a political action committee – Ridesharing Works for Austin – designed to collect the 20,000 petition signatures from registered voters necessary to make the current interim TNC rules adopted in 2014 by the previous city council permanent via either Council adoption or public referendum on the next uniform election, was I being whisked away from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in the backseat of a Lyft, getting pitched on why I should sign the petition before we'd even left the terminal...."
"...Pouty, whiny, spoiled-bratism is not nice coming from a 4-year-old – but it's grotesque when it comes from billion-dollar corporate elites like Uber and Lyft...."
"...Nevertheless, at 96 items, from morning contracts to evening short-term rentals, the day should be long and lively. The anticipated headline subject is transportation networking companies (e.g., Uber and Lyft), and sure enough, an addendum includes five items that all address TNC's directly or indirectly, and bring the total to 96..."
"...Meanwhile, regarding the TNC rules, matters will likely turn on whether Uber and Lyft will acquiesce to fingerprinting of their prospective drivers (along with other, less-disputed public safety regs), or continue to insist they can't work under those conditions – which will apply as well to the competition, the traditional cab and limo companies. Both sides cite public polling strongly supporting their opposing positions..."
"...With Uber and Lyft picking up their ball and going home in protest of Prop 1's failure, Austinites who used to rely on the juggernaut TNCs are now figuring out how to get around the city...."
"...With transportation concerns dominating conversation from City Hall to office water coolers, and Uber and Lyft opting out of Austin proper after voters upheld the city's regulations in the May special election, the ridesharing scene has turned on its head. Numerous players are currently attempting to fill a curious vacuum left by the disappearing megalith apps...."
"...He's been a driver for eight years; this past year has been his most trying. With Uber, Lyft, and the city's recent changes, it's never been more necessary that drivers get their say – or a seat inside the room..."
"...When I last wrote about the Proposition 1 campaign ("Money Doesn't Talk, It Swears," April 30), Uber and Lyft (via their political action committee, Ridesharing Works for Austin) had filed finance reports with the City Clerk reflecting $7.1 million in spending to promote Prop 1. Even as reporters began to analyze that filing, RWA reported another $1 million about to be spent, which presumably includes more than $300,000 in advertising buys in supplemental reports filed Monday and Tuesday..."
"...Uber and Lyft spent $10 million on this campaign, and ceased service abruptly – abandoning their drivers and passengers and forgoing more millions of dollars in profits – for a very specific, and deeply held principle: that they are not subject to government regulation. It wasn't because fingerprinting is onerous, or difficult to implement – that's been proven in Houston and elsewhere – and it certainly isn't to protect the rights of their drivers – we saw how much they cared about their drivers on Monday morning when they left them high and dry, for no real reason except to make a point, as forcefully as they could: They won't operate anywhere where they don't get to write the regulations under which they will operate...."
"...Nearly four months after entering uninvited into Austin's market and forcing city staffers to scramble and local law enforcement to direct resources towards policing peer-to-peer, for-hire ground transportation services – euphemistically known as "ridesharing" – companies like Uber and Lyft now stand two City Council readings away from being able to sign contracts with the city and operate legally...."
"...The term "unprecedented" is abused and overused in politics, but two corporations – General Motors-backed Lyft, and Uber (with investment from Google Ventures and Chinese search engine firm Baidu) – attempting to overturn an Austin city policy is unprecedented. Tonight, Austinites see if $9 million can swing a local election...."
"...Returning to a few of my favorite topics today: the overwhelming hubris and audacity of Uber, and the unholy alliance between charter schools and the development lobby...."
"...The past week and a half has proven that hell hath no fury like Austinites without access to Uber and Lyft. The city has scrambled to find solutions to fill the ride-hailing void, but thus far none of the new companies has been terribly successful in providing convenient, inexpensive rides...."
"...Ever since they came to Austin, Uber and Lyft have behaved as though rules were for other people. It's their business model, as far as I can tell..."
"...“You should never feel 100 percent safe,” at least, not according to Austin’s Police Chief Art Acevedo, who made this declaration to KXAN in November after being presented with a report on alleged sexual assaults by transportation network company (TNC) – i.e. Uber and Lyft – drivers...."
"...In this week's News Roundup, an Austin man gets $1 million dollars after being punched and Tasered by a couple of APD officers; Austin landlords can refuse to accept Section 8 vouchers, for now; and the Lege contemplates letting Uber and Lyft drive across the state...."
"...If you don’t like the laws, buy some new ones. That’s not an option for most of us, but mega-corps Uber and Lyft have deep pockets and few scruples..."
"...“Please shut up and go away.” That was one of the milder insults tweeted in the direction of Mayor Adler’s mailbag (@MayorAdler) over the weekend, following the defeat of Proposition 1 and the decision of transportation network companies Uber and Lyft to immediately cease operations in Austin. “Suck my ass” was more common...."
"...The debate over the May 7 vote on Prop 1, concerning the regulations of transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft, is often framed as a partisan battle – liberals vs. conservatives...."
"...In this week's news roundup: A Criminal Court judge is shot at her home by an unknown assailant, and survives in stable but serious condition; APD acknowledges a disturbing video of a violent downtown arrest; Uber literally brings in the cavalry to continue the charge against City Council's proposed regulations; and more......"
"...It's been 10 days, as of June 8, since Uber and Lyft returned to Austin, and quite quickly the two apps have reasserted their dominance in the local ridesharing economy. Already one transportation network company (TNC) that entered the market upon the two behemoths' May 2016 departures has called it quits..."
"...In the last month, Ridesharing Works for Austin – the PAC established by transportation network companies Uber and Lyft – raised $4.9 million and spent $4.6 million promoting Prop. 1, the TNC-supported ride-hailing ordinance..."
"...Well, it appears the campaign has begun. Last Thursday, City Council declined to enact the "citizens' petition" on behalf of transportation network company (TNC) regulations drafted and promoted by Uber and Lyft, and by the time you read this, Council will have adopted ballot language and approved the May 7 referendum election..."
"...I was bumming about Carma Carpooling's dearth around my neighborhood and didn't like the idea of using Uber and Lyft unless I absolutely had to. Intelligent people who study trends on transit pricing professionally believe both companies will eventually lower rates enough to compete with plans like Car2Go, but for now – for daily use – they're just too pricey..."
"...By the time you read this, City Council will have drafted the ballot language and set the May 7 election to determine whether the "citizens' initiative" ordinance on transportation network companies – i.e., Uber and Lyft – will provide the only regulations on TNCs for the next couple of years. Despite a heroic (or foolhardy) effort by Mayor Steve Adler to negotiate a "solution" – he abjures the word "compromise" – between the petition-driven ordinance and Council's attempt to enact the city's own regulations, Council voted 8-2-1 to reject (that is, not to adopt) the petition-based version and effectively place the matter before the voters..."
"...Not a moment too soon, it seems, since the backstage process has been proceeding at high speed. The petition campaign to blow up the new ordinance – underwritten by ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft, and local Microsoft sub TechNet – this week submitted more than 65,000 signatures to the city clerk, delivering the petitioners' "options" to Council – either write the regs to TNC order or schedule a May election to impose them..."
"...Texas revs up, Democrats talk about taking a stand, and a few Uber drivers make the app look terrible, as your AggreGAYtor vaguebooks all the way home...."
"...At an event held early last week after competitor Fasten skidded out of the market, RideAustin CEO Andy Tryba introduced himself as the "idiot who thought it was a good idea to start a nonprofit rideshare." While it's undoubtedly been a huge undertaking for Tryba and the RideAustin team to establish the nonprofit, they've also established themselves as the last rideshare option standing among the surge of companies that tried to compete for market share after Uber and Lyft's brief departure in 2016. Some, like GetMe and Tride, failed to ever gain traction; others, like Fasten and the even more short-lived Fare, put up a fight before eventually calling it quits...."
"...Adding to the growing number of ride-hailing options in Austin since Uber and Lyft’s wholesale evacuation, a new nonprofit, community-based app called RideAustin was introduced today at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar...."
"...But locally, the message is less clear. By claiming that the city was "forcing" them to leave on Monday morning, Uber and Lyft have succeeded in directing a lot of driver and rider ire toward City Hall..."
"...Like nearly all Sandler's characters to date, Sonny is a chronic underachiever with a kid-sized chip on his shoulder, content to drift through life shooting hoops, ogling women, and hanging out with his sad-sack pals day after day after day. For Sonny, though, it all changes when two things occur almost simultaneously to reverse his uber-slacker attitude..."
"...Schwarzenegger re-teams with Cameron as Harry Trasker, a U.S. uber-spook working for “the last line of defense,” the shadowy Omega Sector..."