Uber and Lyft Fulfill Promise to Pull Austin Service

The two most well-known ride-sharing services are pulling out of the city due to new driver restrictions, but these 5 other services are still in operation.

by Katie Urbaszewski, Austin American-Statesman / May 10, 2016
Austin's Prop 1 signs posted along University of Texas at Austin's campus voting center. Shelby Knowles/The Texas Tribune

(TNS) -- Uber and Lyft fulfilled their pledge Monday morning to stop offering rides inside the city limits of Austin because voters rejected Proposition 1 on Saturday.

Proposition 1 would have repealed the city’s fingerprinting requirements for drivers of Lyft and other ride-hailing companies. The ordinance also prohibits drivers from stopping in traffic lanes for passenger drop-offs and pickups, requires “trade dress” to identify vehicles for hire, and imposes a variety of data reporting requirements on the ride-hailing companies.

Uber and Lyft drivers will still pick up passengers outside the city limits of Austin if their destination is also outside the city limits. In a statement, Lyft referred to their halt of service as a “pause.” Whether Uber and Lyft are gone for good or just temporarily, here are some alternate apps Austinites can use to get around:

  1. GetMe: The much smaller ride-hailing company GetMe is still operating. The company’s representatives have repeatedly said they would continue to operate in Austin no matter the outcome of the election.
  2. Wingz: On Monday, the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport annouced its partnership with the smartphone app Wingz, which people in Austin can now use. The app offers rides to and from the airport. In addition to users’ location and destination, Wingz also requests their flight details.
    “Everything is known in advance,” said Wingz CEO Chris Brandon. “We’re pre-scheduled, flat rate, surge free. You know exactly how much it’s going to cost. You know who the driver is going to be.”
  3. CapMetro: People can use the city’s app to figure out the best bus or rail line to get to their destination. Users can also purchase a bus pass (for one day, seven days or 31 days) with a credit card or PayPal through the app if they choose. To use the app, enter your location, your destination, how far you’re willing to walk, and what time you need to leave or arrive.
  4. Hailacab: Yellow Cab has an app with an interface similar to Uber’s and Lyft’s. To have a taxi come to your location, hit the “Book Taxi” button, and you can watch your taxi driver head your way. Adjust the settings at the top of the screen to change the “cash” option to “credit” request, book a taxi at a different day or time, or request a specific type of vehicle.
  5. car2go: This option will take a few days between the time you sign up and when you are approved. This company offers registered users the ability to take one of the available car2go Smart Cars scattered throughout the city. There is a one-time sign up fee of $35, and car2go charges users 41 cents per minute.

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