After Austin City Council voted to require fingerprint background checks for Uber and Lyft drivers, the ridesharing companies threatened to leave the city. In response, musicians and community leaders have formed a grassroots campaign against this example of government overreach.
Austin citizens rely heavily on Uber and Lyft to commute to and from work and avoid drunk driving, not to mention the amount of people who use the services for additional income. It would be a significant economic and social loss if the services left town and citizens are not taking this lightly. Petitioners expect to gather well over the 20,000 signature mark required for their campaign to be heard by Austin City Council.
As reported by local Austin NBC affiliate kxan “It’s the city’s job to establish these ordinances. It’s private industry’s job to decide whether or not that ordinance works for them,” said Jennifer Houlihan, executive director at Austin Music People. “We believe the ordinance we’ve proposed and that the petition supports is meaningful compromise that gives safety, and part-time jobs, and all the other benefits of [transportation network companies].”