Uber and Lyft are making a comeback to Austin. The two companies will restart offering their services there from next week — Monday to be exact. This comeback comes after the companies had paused their operations last year, forcing residents to resort to alternative means of transportation.
The two cab aggregators pulled out of Austin in 2016 after complaining that the city regulators were forcing them to pay extra money to be able to run their businesses in the city. The companies had claimed that rules requiring them to facilitate fingerprint-based background checks for drivers, and preventing pick-ups and drop-offs in lanes on certain roads meant that doing business had become hard.
The companies are making a comeback because of a bill recently passed by Texas state regulators that overrides these requirement of the city of Austin. Under these new rules, requirements for cab aggregators are standardized across the state and fingerprint based background checks are no longer a requirement.
Speaking on the comeback, Uber told TechCrunch:
Austin is an incubator for technology and entrepreneurship, and we are excited to be back in the mix. Our local team is focused on making sure that Uber works for Austinites and helping our driver-partners earn. We know that we have a lot of work to do in the city, but we couldn’t be more excited for the road ahead.