July 20, 2017

How Uber and Lyft toyed with Texas to get their way

Texas state grunge background with texan flag painted on wooden aged wall
Copyright: niroworld / 123RF Stock Photo

Uber and Lyft made the city of Austin their Alamo. Bid Wallace wore a big grin as he pulled his silver SUV into the Austin parking lot where I was waiting for a ride.

“Everybody is smiling today,” he told me as I climbed in.

After a year-long hiatus, Wallace last month was driving again for Lyft in the Texas capital. It was his first day back, and work was steady.

In May 2016, both Uber and Lyft pulled out of Austin after a bitter showdown with local regulators. City lawmakers had passed an ordinance the previous December requiring, among other things, that ride-hailing companies add fingerprint background checks for their drivers. Uber and Lyft refused to comply, saying their private background checks were thorough enough. They called the requirements overly burdensome.

It was a standstill — until last month, when Texas Governor Greg Abbot signed a bill that overrode all local ride-hailing laws in the state. Uber and Lyft can now operate anywhere in Texas without fingerprinting their drivers.

“A patchwork quilt of compliance complexities are forcing businesses out of the Lone Star State,” Abbott said in a statement when he passed the law. “My goal as Governor is to remove the barriers […]

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About NGE Staff 9421 Articles
The News for the Gig Economy Staff is constantly searching the web for the latest news regarding freelancing and gig platforms to bring them to you in one handy place. All articles with this generic author have been sourced with the original location at the bottom of the piece. We encourage our readers to view the original source of all excerpts. NGE is a project of ARC Online, LLC.

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