AUSTIN - With thousands of new visitors cramming Austin streets for South by Southwest, the need for transportation options is as clear as ever. While the city has taxis, buses, pedicabs and short term car rentals, the primary choice has always been rideshare apps.
Saturday night, the influx of SXSW visitors and steady rain created what Fasten CEO Kirill Evdakov called "a perfect storm."
Fasten was just one of the apps to be overwhelmed and shut down temporarily Saturday. Evdakov said it was a combination of rain and more than 12 times the normal demand in some locations.
Evdakov and his team were able to quadruple the Fasten server capacity and were "down" from 8:20 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.
Other apps including non-profit RideAustin did not fare so well. That app remained offline or unavailable for multiple hours.
Evdakov wrote a statement apologizing to riders and drivers alike and explaining how the situation arose:
"What I’d say to every Fasten driver and rider eye-to-eye is the following: We are truly sorry that several hundred of our customers experienced difficulties requesting rides on Saturday night between 8:20pm & 9:15pm. Service interruptions are completely unacceptable, no matter how intermittent they may be. The only number that matters to customers is one. One request, one ride.
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