Uber And Lyft To Return To Austin After Year-Long Absence

Uber and Lyft are both set to return to the streets of Austin, Texas when new statewide regulations come into effect.

Both the ride-hailing services left the city in May 2016 after the city voted to require drivers to provide their fingerprints as part of extensive background checks.

However, on Wednesday, the Texas Senate voted to create new regulations for ride-hailing companies and will bring them under Texas regulatory control.

Speaking to KXAN after hearing about the bill, a spokesperson for Uber said the company would immediately return to the city when Governor Greb Abbott signs the bill into law. A spokesperson from Lyft mimicked Uber’s committal to return.

“Ridesharing in Texas took a tremendous step forward today. Thank you to Sen. Schwertner and Rep. Paddie for defending consumer choice and all the stakeholders who have helped create safer roads and expand reliable, affordable rides for Texans,” the Lyft spokesperson said.

Not everyone is pleased with the news. Ride Austin, a local ridesharing service, says it may have to shut down when Uber and Lyft return.

“I do believe that Uber and Lyft are going to come in with their $12 billion in cash and they are going to try and crush the local non-profit,” said Ride Austin chief executive Andy Tryba.