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Uber, Lyft Exit Austin after City Votes to Keep Fingerprinting Law
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Photo courtesy of L.A. Times.

Summary: After a vote requiring Uber and Lyft to fingerprint their drivers, the two companies pulled out of the city of Austin. 

For charges ranging from worker misclassification to racketeering, it seems as if Uber is constantly being sued. But what would happen if the $62.5 billion company just got fed up and disappeared?


For Austin, Texas, that scenario has become a reality. The city has just found out what it’s like to live in a world without Uber and the similar ride-share company, Lyft. According to Buzzfeed, as of Monday Uber and Lyft pulled out of the city after a vote passed, requiring drivers to be fingerprinted. The companies spent $8 million to repeal the law, but fifty-six percent of voters wanted it to stand. According to CNN, the companies felt that fingerprinting was biased against minorities who were fingerprinted but not charged. They also argued that fingerprinting for background checks was expensive, a slow process, and leads to fewer drivers.

In Austin, fingerprinting was already required for taxi and limo drivers as a means for safety.

This is not the first time Uber and Lyft took a stand against fingerprinting. They previously pulled out of Columbus, Ohio and Broward County, Florida, and they returned only after fingerprinting was waived. Overall, it sounds as if the two companies have more klout than local lawmakers because of citizens’ reliance on their services.

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According to Buzzfeed, after Monday, thousands of people were left without means to get around, and an estimated 10,000 drivers were left without a way to earn extra income. Disgruntled drivers took to online forums to discuss alternatives, which include the less popular app GetMe.

Some drivers told the press that they hoped Uber and Lyft would return soon to Austin.

Source: Buzzfeed


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