Even though Governor Greg Abbott has not yet signed a bill allowing Uber and Lyft to come back to Austin the companies are back in town getting ready.
Uber and Lyft were busy recruiting new drivers and getting previous ones back on track just a week after legislation passed allowing them back into Austin. Aaron Fox is the General Manager for Lyft in Austin, “We've got a lot of new applicants that are excited to join and we're working with them to get them on, we've extended our office hours here,” he said.
The Texas legislature approved a bill taking away local ordinances, such as the fingerprint background checks here in Austin and will now have statewide regulations. “Really it’s the people that win, the people in Austin now have more choices for who they want to ride with and they can choose and the competition is ultimately what makes us all better, and I think that’s a good thing for all of us,” Fox said.
But not everyone is on board with an Uber/Lyft second coming. An industry seeming to be on its way out - has been thriving the last year. Robert Hill is a taxi cab driver and spoke with Fox 7, “The reality is very simple, the taxi industry has fallen behind the times nationwide but that doesn’t mean the public should be lied to and put in jeopardy by somebody who's only interested in turning a profit.” He said he’s heard of some companies that may be taking up this matter with the state. “I am somewhat aware of some possible litigation by one of the companies against the state,” he said.
But Lyft said safety is a priority for the company and they are back and better than ever with some new significant safety enhancements. “One of the neat things that we've introduced in the last year is the amp. This is an easy way to find your car at night and makes it really stand out. On the back side of it, as the rider enters the car, it will show their name on the back here, so you can be 100% certain you're in the right car cause your color matches the front, your name is on the back.
Fox 7 checked with the governor's office for an update on where he stands with House Bill 100. They replied back and said there's no signing date yet, but based on a tweet he sent regarding the bill passing saying "Buckle up. Coming soon." many are confident he will sign it.