Ride-hailing companies complying in large numbers
According to new date released by the City of Austin, all ride-hailing companies in operation are complying with the new fingerprint background check ordinance in great numbers.
“Our staff is looking and measuring the number of drivers against the number of hours and making sure those are hitting our requirements,” said Kathie Tovo, District 9 council member.
As of Aug. 1, 50 percent of drivers are supposed to have already gotten a fingerprint background check. As you can see, not all of the companies have 50 percent of drivers checked, however, their percentage of "hours driven by compliant drivers" is over 50 percent. That's what city council is most concerned about.
“All companies will have to have 99 percent compliance by February 2017,” said Tovo.
Joe Deshotel is with “Ride Austin.” His company launched right after voters struck down prop one in May.
“We were actually built from the ground up to be compliant with all the city's regulations,” said Deshotel, director of community engagement.
Tride and Ride Austin are the two on the list with the most compliant drivers. They say it's more than just making the ones at city hall happy. Safety is a major priority.
“We do in person interviews with drivers and in person car inspections with the drivers before they ever take a passenger,” said Deshotel.
Will Uber and Lyft come back? That's up for debate. Lyft did not return our calls or emails, however, Uber responded with this:
“This report confirms what many in Austin were concerned about all along. Far fewer trips are taking place in Austin today and there are significantly fewer drivers who are able to earn extra money on a flexible schedule. We remain optimistic that we can work with the Mayor and City Council to develop similar TNC regulations to those that have already been adopted by 13 Texas cities and 34 states across the country.”