The future of ride-hailing in Austin is in the hands of voters beginning tomorrow. People will head to the polls: to vote for or against Proposition One.
Both Uber and Lyft have threatened to leave the city if it does not pass. Another ride-hailing startup says they are prepared to pick up the slack - if that happens.
Edward trust takes an Uber whenever he needs it.
“It was a really fantastic opportunity because they pick you up exactly where you want. The security aspect, I love the security aspect,” Trust said.
Security, that's what city council is worried about. A vote for prop one means Uber and Lyft can conduct their own background checks as usual, no fingerprinting, among other regulations.
“A vote against keeps in place the ordinance council passed which includes a fingerprint background check , it includes a provision to keep drivers from unloading and loading passengers in a lane of traffic,” Mayor Pro-tem Kathie Tovo said.
The vote also decides whether the companies should have trade dress, the Lyft mustaches and the Uber stickers. Election eve, Tovo and several volunteers gathered to make signs, against Prop One.
“t's really a critical question for our city and that is who should be making the rules”? Laura Morrison, former city council member who is against Prop-One said.
Up and coming ride-hailing company "Get Me" says they'll abide by the rules, regardless if prop one passes or fails.
“We’re not focused on the vote. We're more focused on business as usual,” Jonathan Laramy, co-founder, said.
The company, which started last October only has about 300 to 400 drivers on the grid in Austin, but they have about 2,000 on standby.
If Uber and Lyft do leave, can they supply the demand?
"Can we put 10,000 on in one day, no. but what we did find two weeks ago, that's going to change our onboarding process is it's going to actually flow very fast very simple,” Laramy said.
Saturday is the big day. As votes head to the polls, Laramy says if it were up to him, Uber and Lyft would stay.
“Competition breeds innovation,” he said.
Some smaller taxi companies say they’ve been put out of business because of the ride-hailing companies.