Many downtown goers left stranded after first weekend without Uber and Lyft

Reality sets in for many downtown goers for the first weekend without Uber and Lyft. Many were stranded Friday night, not able to get rides.  Katrina Anscerom is one of those people, ”I am a young adult in Austin, I love going down to 6th, West 6th Street, East 6th Street, and I've depended on rides to get home from Uber and Lyft. It really upsets me because I love going downtown,” she said.

Anscerom said she tried to use a different ridesharing service, but wasn’t successful, “First time they canceled on us and said they were not able to fulfill our request. The second time we talked on the phone with the guy and he was like ‘I know where you are but I can't get you.’”

A taxi cab was too expensive for her, “I am a youngen, I just graduated from college, I don't have very good income like I just have no savings,” she said.

Others were willing to fork out the money for a cab, but they said taxis were hard to come by and many had to wait hours. Jeff Keen works in Downtown Austin. “I am wandering around right now looking for a yellow cab,” he said.

Opinions are mixed as far as who’s to blame. “I place that blame on the voter. There's a lot of us that should have gotten out and made that vote happen but did not,” Keen said.

“It's a business, so you got to qualify in terms of what the city's policies are, you got to conform to what the laws are,” Anscerom said,

Many have been lashing out at local politicians. It’s so disappointing to see some people in the community sending such ugly emails, and tweets,” City Council Member Ann Kitchen said. She also added it’s disappointing Uber and Lyft chose to leave and did so quickly, “We are all trying to pull together to help drivers and riders because these companies have left us all in a lurch,” she said.

For Anscerom she said she had to make a very unwanted phone call. “My mother is coming to pick us up tonight, so I feel really bad calling her, but we really had no other option,” she said.
 

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