Rideshare 9-2 vote requires fingerprint-check by 2017

Austin City Council members debated the issue until the early morning hours. They argued what rules should be in place for ride-sharing services.

The vote was 9-2 in favor of giving Uber and Lyft until February 2017 to get the majority of their drivers’ fingerprint-check.

This is extends the deadline a full year.

Representatives from Uber and Lyft say they already conduct “thorough” criminal background checks on their drivers, and this proposal is unnecessary.

Lyft has a policy where it does not operate in cities that require fingerprint background checks.

Uber left San Antonio after it passed a similar ordinance. Uber says most of its drivers use the service to make extra cash and this plan adds more red tape, which could prevent people from working for them, which equals lost revenue.

"I want to call on the citizens of Austin to rise up in an initiative effort and put this item on the ballot and have the constituents vote on it. - Council Member Don Zimmerman

"I have spoken to many drivers as well as many members of the community and there is strong support for the fingerprinting process in a manner that is not a barrier to becoming a driver. And I am absolutely confident that we can do that." - Council Member Ann Kitchen

If this moves forward, the city would pay for the new fingerprint checks and drivers would get their results within two days.

At this point, it's too early to tell if Uber and Lyft will cut ties with Austin or come to some other agreement.
 

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