Could Uber and Lyft return to Austin?

We're looking at the possibility of Uber and Lyft returning to Austin if House Bill 100 passes.

A little over a year after Uber and Lyft left Austin, the Texas Senate will hold a public hearing on Thursday for House Bill 100, which could bring the ridesharing companies back to the capital city.

HB100 would regulate Transportation Networking Companies statewide. The bill would likely override the Austin fingerprint background check ordinance and move Uber and Lyft one step closer to coming back to Austin.

RideAustin is one of many ridesharing companies attempting to fill the void Uber and Lyft left behind.

"We were created with Austin values in mind and so certainly from our perspective, regardless of what happens at the Senate and the House, we believe that following the wishes of the Austin voters is important," said Marisa Goldenberg, Chief Operating Officer of RideAustin.

RideAustin is offering to continue to fingerprint background check even if the state law doesn't require it.

Based on his contact with other ridesharing drivers, Anthony Nguyen thinks both Uber and Lyft could be up against some pushback if they come return.

"If you look at the online discussion, with all the drivers are now with RideAustin, Fare, and Fasten, there's a sentiment that they don't want Uber back," Nguyen said. "I think there will be some loyalty to the current crops of TNC's with us."

Councilmember and Mobility Committee Chair Ann Kitchen said she's more concerned about the Department of Justice Criminal Investigation into Uber.

Kitchen said it's too early for her to talk about what could happen to the city's ordinance if the bill passes into law.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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