Preliminary City Council Approval for Uber and Lyft
Uber and Lyft, ride-sharing services, have recently moved into Austin and brought with them a debate that is also popping up in other growing cities across the country. The issue revolves around taxi and limousine companies versus the open market.
Since city ordinances regulate taxi services, Austin, like many other cities, has been a transportation monopoly. Yellow Cab, Lone Star Cab, and Austin Cab are the only companies driving and they have a limited number of permits—they fight hard against change. This means that there are a limited number of cabs available. If you have ever tried to hail, call, or schedule a cab in Austin, you have probably felt this shortage first hand as a forty-five minute wait for your wheels.
This initial headache, alongside the high cost of hailing one, unfortunately prevents many people from getting a cab home when they really should—i.e. when they have been out drinking.
Uber and Lyft are quick, efficient, and reasonably priced. This ease of use translates into safer roads.
Today, the City Council gave preliminary approval to Uber and Lyft. Legalizing these ride sharing services will help ease the cab shortage in the city and cut down on drunk driving.
We encourage everyone to enjoy Austin safely this weekend. While you do not need alcohol to make the most of this beautiful weather, if you do choose to drink, consider taking Uber or Lyft to and from your destination. We are glad to see our city moving forward and making positive changes.