Our City, Our Headache

Uber and Lyft's temper tantrum leaves Austin to clean up the mess


One thing is certain: Saturday's election resolved little. By rejecting Prop 1, voters did indeed "send a message nationwide, that if a city wants to stand up for itself and insist on writing its own rules, you can win," as former council member and current Our City, Our Safety, Our Choice spokesperson Laura Morrison told the Chronicle.

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. Offices have been besieged with complaints and accusations. It is not, in fact, the case that the city forced the ride-hailing behemoths to leave – every member of Council interviewed by the Chronicle said they wanted the companies to stay and would have been willing to work with them to make that happen. As Council Member Delia Garza put it on Facebook, "Uber and Lyft have chosen to leave Austin. They voluntarily turned off their app on Monday and abandoned thousands of their drivers and customers. ... Austin is being held hostage by two billion-dollar companies essentially because they refuse to fingerprint their drivers."

However, now that they've left for the time being, it's clear that no one has the perfect solution to fixing the mess their precipitous departure has made. In the articles below, we look at what City Council, transportation network companies, cabs, and the Legislature are planning in Prop 1's wake. We've also provided a timeline of events as a refresher on what led up to our present situation. For those of our readers wanting election coverage, please see our online Daily News. – Amy Kamp

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Chase Hoffberger
Austin Water Issues Boil Notice
Austin Water Issues Boil Notice
UPDATE: City declares "urgent need for customers to reduce water use"

Oct. 22, 2018

Fours on the Floor
Fours on the Floor
Handicapping the next Council’s coalitions on land use

Oct. 19, 2018

More by Amy Kamp
Notes on Kamp: Cowards
Notes on Kamp: Cowards
Why is the right wing so scared of voting rights?

June 3, 2016

Notes on Kamp: Theory and Practice
Notes on Kamp: Theory and Practice
Labor protections are worthless if not enforced

May 27, 2016

More by Michael King
Council Poised to Bless Camelback
Council Poised to Bless Camelback
Neighbors bet on one developer to save them from another

Oct. 19, 2018

Election Ticker: Early Voting Begins Monday
Election Ticker: Early Voting Begins Monday
Victory for voting rights, political parties (the fun kind), the latest endorsements

Oct. 19, 2018

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle