Driven out by the heavy hand of local government, Uber and Lyft will almost certainly be returning to Austin and a handful of other Texas cities because of the lighter hand of the state.
After bouncing back and forth between bills and chambers, the Texas Senate Wednesday passed House Bill 100 superseding local regulations with an annual fee and a permit from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
The key to the bill was the absence of a requirement that drivers for ride-sharing companies be fingerprinted as part of their background checks. The stipulation caused Uber and Lyft to leave several Texas cities, including Austin after a bruising citywide referendum that cost both sides as much as $10 million.
Texas joined 40 other states regulating ride hailing services at some level. Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed in a Twitter message Wednesday night his intention to sign the bill, which would become law June 1.
Trevor Theunissen, spokesman for Uber Texas, said the company intends to return to Austin with Abbott’s signature.
“We are especially grateful for the leadership of Rep. Chris Paddie and Sen. Charles Schwertner for their commitment to creating new economic opportunities all Texans can benefit from, Theunissen said. “An environment that […]