Fare leaves Austin while CapMetro gets into TNC game

When Uber and Lyft left town because they weren't interested in fingerprinting their drivers, companies like Fare, Fasten, Get Me and Ride Austin stepped forward and said "hey we'll do it."
               
Last Monday, Governor Abbott signed a statewide framework into law.  No fingerprinting required.  So Uber and Lyft are back in town -- and "Fare" just couldn't compete.
               
The company thanked Austin for the support and said "Sadly, the time has come to say goodbye.  Unfortunately, we are unable to endure the recent loss of business."
               
So is the "riding" on the wall for other TNC's? 
               
Fasten CEO Kirill Evdakov says their customers are sticking by them.

'We are very inspired by the fact that locals are not really going from us to Uber and Lyft," Evdakov said.

Evdakov says Fasten has a different business model.

"While all other companies take percentage -- 25% from drivers regardless of the size of the fare, Fasten just takes 99 cents flat," Evdakov said. 

Meanwhile, Ride Austin, the city's non-profit ridehailing service says they saw a 55% drop in business last week.  COO Marisa Goldenberg says this week it's stabilized.

"Veteran drivers know that the week after Memorial Day and the first few weeks after June are notoriously slow, a lot of them take vacation but Uber and Lyft certainly had an impact as well with our discounts that they were generously giving out," Goldenberg said.

Ride Austin has said if they get below 20,000 riders a week, they may have to shut down.  Goldenberg says they do have some strategies ready in case ridership gets that low.

"We do believe that this is the worst of the worst is kind of right now and if we kind of stick it out through the rest of the summer and things get much better in the fall," Goldenberg said.

Evdakov says Fasten doesn't have a threshold.

"We don't even think about -- we're thinking about the growth thresholds, not about decline thresholds," Evdakov said.

With Fare gone, there's already a new way to get around town.  A ridehailing service courtesy of CapMetro.  It's called "Pickup."  You use the app and they'll pick you up.

"It is a TNC-style service so like along the lines of a Ride Austin, Uber, Lyft, but it's being operated by the public transit authority.

Cap Metro's Chad Ballentine says the free year-long pilot program is serving the Mueller neighborhood and it's true "Ridesharing" meaning multiple people are on the bus going to different places in the Mueller neighborhood on demand.

"I'm sad to see companies go out of business but I'm also interested to see where the future is going to take us and we're just kind of along for the ride really and just listening to customers and hopefully building something that they'll love," Ballentine said.

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