Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Austin

After Prop 1 mess, Austin loosens regulations for friggin’ taxis

With Uber and Lyft leaving Austin in the wake of the Prop 1 rejection, citizens became concerned about their lack of options getting around town. Looks like the city is listening, and they have a solution.

Smoothing the ruffled feathers

With Uber and Lyft leaving Austin in the wake of the Prop 1 rejection, citizens became concerned about their lack of options getting around town. Looks like the city is listening, and they have a solution.

bar
According to the Statesman, earlier this week, Austin’s Transportation Department issued a memo to City Council recommending that the city’s taxi industry should be partially deregulated.

Removing restrictions for cabs

The loosened rules include removing restrictions on the number of cabs that can operate in the city, as well as eliminating the regulation of fares. Both moves would give the cab companies some more room to compete in an open marketplace against Uber and Lyft. It would also increase the number of cabs on the street to better meet the public transit needs of Austin residents and tourists. It’s not hard to find complaints from folks about cabs showing up late or not at all to pick up requests, so here’s hoping the increase in drivers helps improve that issue.

It’s important to note that these recommendations don’t include the removal of mandatory fingerprint background checks, the very public hot-button issue of the Proposition 1 debate.

I’m somewhat pleased, yet still skeptical, about this turn of events.

Corporate greed and ham-fisted political campaigning aside, I felt frustrated and angry towards Austin’s government for passing this regulation in the first place. It felt unnecessary to homogenize the standard of safety while a large segment of the Austin population accepted and supported how the ride-sharing model operated in the city. So, less regulation comes as welcome news to my ears. This also gives cab companies a chance to show that government regulations may have something to do with poor service, if they can step up and take advantage of having more cars on the streets.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

A leg up for the taxi companies

On the other hand, this very much feels like a half-measure, one that creates an open advantage for taxi companies in town. First, it doesn’t eliminate the main issue at hand when it comes to fingerprinting. More importantly, this gives taxi companies more flexibility to operate without restrictions at the exact time Uber and Lyft leave Austin.

Yes, those companies left (“suspended operations”) voluntarily. However, that makes the timing of this advantage for taxis all the more suspect. This certainly doesn’t help the image that taxi companies bought the regulations from the government with regards to Proposition 1.

Still, the Transport Committee isn’t the city council, and it’s very possible that they are recommending what they can to meet Austin’s demand for safe transportation. This is a good recommendation in the short term; long-term, we’ll see if it improves cab company service. They’ll still have to compete with GetMe and Fasten as they establish themselves in town.

#Prop1Saga

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

Born in Boston and raised in California, Connor arrived in Texas for college and was (lovingly) ensnared by southern hospitality and copious helpings of queso. As an SEO professional, he lives and breathes online marketing and its impact on businesses. His loves include disc-related sports, a pint of a top-notch craft beer, historical non-fiction novels, and Austin's live music scene.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Advertisement

KEEP READING!

Business Finance

Layoffs, hiring freezes and sales drops for tech giants like Meta, Lyft, Docusign, and Bed Bath & Beyond have all been announced this week.

Business News

(BUSINESS) If you drive for popular delivery services as a side hustle or your full-time job, check out how much you could save on...

Business News

(BUSINESS) Uber isn't new to in-app expansion, especially since its grocery and goods delivery service took off - now, Uber will let you choose...

Business News

(BUSINESS NEWS) The battle for Uber and Lyft drivers' status continues, and despite company protests, the official ruling has been upheld.

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.