Photo Credit: Stephanie Holmes

Senate Debate Over Bills That Could Bring Back Uber and Lyft

By Stephanie Holmes

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Many were upset after Uber and Lyft stopped their services in Austin, but there could be a chance that we’ll get them back. On Tuesday, the Texas House discussed multiple bills that could change everything.




Both ride-share companies immediately left the Austin after a vote in May 2016 that led to fingerprinting background checks. As many have noticed, the companies leaving caused several start-up ride-hailing apps to appear in their place, with all of their drivers getting fingerprinted.


Senate Bill 176 by state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, and Senate Bill 361 by state Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, both share similarities that would undo current rules that are considered burdensome for the two companies.


Lyft representative, April Mims, discussed other states that have adopted comprehensive ride-hailing laws and believes that Texas should do the same.


“Some of these cities are within 30 miles of each other and no two policies are the same,” she said. “This regulatory structure is not sustainable and is contrary to Lyft’s mission to build an effective network across Texas.”


However, the bill does have its fair share of critics. Some say the bill has weak language regarding users with disabilities, while others still believe fingerprinting is the best way to go.


“If you don’t have access to get to work or going to meetings, you’re stuck,” said Chase Bearden, a representative for the Coalition of Texans with disabilities. “We’d like to see some stronger statewide regulation on that for the reason that we can go wherever we need to.”


To learn more read the Texas Tribune article HERE.