City helps out-of-work TNC drivers with job fair at ACC

Saturday night in Austin, Texas was a little chaotic. No Uber, no Lyft. Just cabs along with any Transportation Network Companies that don't have a problem fingerprinting their drivers.

But the problem is thousands of drivers left in the dust by Uber and Lyft are still in the hiring process at some of the remaining TNC's.

"We've put out for everyone that if you want to drive, come on out," said Gordon Derr, Assistant Director of the Austin Transportation Department.

Derr is talking about a city-sponsored TNC driver Job Fair at ACC. Derr says they're pointing drivers in the right direction to get fingerprinted.

"There's some opportunity to go to a local office and do that today but otherwise we'll help them get an appointment. There's three locations in town, another one in Georgetown another one in Pflugerville," Derr said.

Those who want to drive came to chat with companies like Wingz. 

"We're not a rideshare company like Uber and Lyft, we're more of a private car service that costs less than a Taxi," said Wingz CEO Chris Brandon.

And Fare. CEO Michael Leto says they're trying to get a decent pool of drivers before launch. He's hoping that will be later in the week.

"Over 1100 of them, we've got about 350 to 400 of them already thorough our entire process and we're just waiting to go," Leto said.

Michelle Rivera was laid off when Uber and Lyft left. We chatted with her after she spoke with "Get Me."

"I didn't like it too much. I'm thinking I'm going to go with Fare or if Uber comes back, continue on with Uber but their attitude and everything we had to go through, it's not worth it to me," Rivera said.

David Michna says all he has left in the "Get Me" process is to get fingerprinted, which he's doing on Wednesday.  To get his car inspected by the company, something he hasn't been able to get the company to do yet, but there's no hard feelings.

"I don't feel frustrated with Get Me. I think they're just getting their foot in the door," Michna said.

I spoke with Get Me Chief Experience Officer, Jonathan Laramy by phone.

He says he apologizes for the silence but Get Me has been extremely busy with the onboarding process. In response to the accusation that Get Me isn't complying with the fingerprinting ordinance, Laramy says:

Get Me has drivers out there with traditional social security background checks and also drivers that have been fingerprinted.  We are working diligently with the Department of Transportation to make sure going forward everyone has gone through the bio-metric background check process the city has set up.

Laramy says if drivers haven't been fingerprinted, go get that done or head to the job fair for more info.  And if drivers need the company to check out their car or if they just need help with the process, come to the location they have set up on Third Street.

In the meantime, if drivers need more help, the job fair will be open until 7 P.M. Tuesday night and then again Wednesday and Thursday from 10 am to 7 P.M.

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