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Uber, Lyft threaten to pull out of Austin over driver fingerprinting

Residents reject measure that would have exempted drivers from required fingerprinting for background checks.

Uber

Ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft plan to cease operations in Austin, Texas, after losing a vote over required fingerprint background checks for drivers.

The rival companies said they plan to shut down their services on Monday after voters in the Texas capital rejected Proposition 1, a measure that would have exempted drivers from required fingerprinting as part of checks into their backgrounds. Lyft said the vote will make it harder for part-time drivers to offer rides in the city.

"We have to take a stand for a long-term path forward that lets ridesharing continue to grow across the country, and will pause operations in Austin on Monday, May 9," Lyft said in a statement.

"Disappointment does not begin to describe how we feel about shutting down operations in Austin," Uber said in a statement.

The vote comes amid growing concern for the safety of passengers on ride-hailing services. In the past two years, Uber has been dogged by allegations of drivers assaulting, raping and kidnapping passengers.

Last month, Uber agreed to pay as much as $25 million to settle a lawsuit in California that accused the ride-hailing company of misleading consumers about safety.