Ridesharing services could soon be a thing of the past in Austin. It all depends on a decision the City Council will make next week.
City Council members will vote on new safety measures that Uber said would drive them out of town. This comes as the service is pairing up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving or MADD.
Madd said the use of designated drivers on the rise.
“We believe that ridesharing is playing a big part in the number of designated drivers. Being able to use the app, having them come to the location, knowing who's picking you up, having all the contact information there for you, kind of gives you a different avenue that you definitely want to use,” said Raul Vasquez, Program Specialist for MADD.
MADD and Uber announced this week they are pairing up for the holiday season.
“Any individual that's hosting a party, or any company party, you can actually order rides for the people that are going to be in attendance. For every Uber event that is ordered through that way, MADD is actually going to get $10 donation,” Vasquez said.
City Council is set to vote on a new plan put in place by Council Member Ann Kitchen, making ridesharing services abide by the same safety standards as taxi services.
She said in a statement:
“TNC’s like Lyft, Uber and Getme offer important options - to avoid drunk driving. Ubers choice to leave the Austin community, and the drivers that depend on them is Ubers to make - the council is not asking or causing them to leave.”
Uber said it will push them out of Austin. FOX 7 spoke with the General Manager of Uber in Texas in November .
“We wouldn't be able to operate under what she has proposed, we have not operated in any cities that have these type of restrictions,” Chris Nakutis said.
MADD said they hope they come to a resolution that keeps ridesharing services in town. “If options are being driven out, it could lead to you know, individuals deciding just to drive home instead of getting that safe ride home,” Vasquez said.
Council Member Kitchen said if the plan is approved next week it will take some time to be put in place. So, ridesharing will mostly likely be available through this holiday season.