Looking for Uber or Lyft in Austin? You're out of luck

Following a rejection of Proposition 1, both ride-sharing giants have pulled their services from Texas' hipster capital.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
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Andrew Krok
2 min read

Some groups love tossing around empty threats, only to renege when pressure is applied. Uber and Lyft, fresh off a legislative defeat over the weekend in Austin, Texas, discussed pulling their services from the city. Now, it appears both groups have held to their words, as you can hail neither service from within Austin's city limits.

As of today, if you attempt to order an Uber or Lyft within Austin, you'll get pop-ups stating that neither group is offering pickups within city limits. Bear in mind, Proposition 1 was largely about increasing ride-sharing regulation, which the companies claimed would put undue burden on its drivers, many of who use it as a second job. I'm not in Austin, but Stef Schrader from Jalopnik is, and she has screenshots of the pop-ups in question.

"[T]he rules passed by City Council don't allow true ridesharing to operate. Instead, they make it harder for part-time drivers, the heart of Lyft's peer-to-peer model, to get on the road and harder for passengers to get a ride," Lyft said in an emailed statement. "Because of this, 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 9th."

"Disappointment does not begin to describe how we feel about shutting down operations in Austin," said Chris Nakutis, Uber's general manager in Austin. "We hope the City Council will reconsider their ordinance so we can work together to make the streets of Austin a safer place for everyone."

That said, you can still hail an Uber or Lyft vehicle in the suburbs surround Austin proper, and you can still rely on GetMe, another, smaller ride-sharing service. Uber's UberEATS program, which is basically a standalone food delivery service, will continue functioning, as well. But for the time being, if you need to get somewhere in Austin, get your cab-hailing arm ready.