Uber, Lyft will return to Austin once new statewide ride-hailing regulations are signed into law, officials confirm

Uber and Lyft representatives have confirmed the companies will return to Austin once House Bill 100 is signed into law.

Uber and Lyft representatives have confirmed the companies will return to Austin once House Bill 100 is signed into law.

Uber and Lyft are set to return to Austin, officials from both companies confirmed Thursday.

After the state Legislature passed House Bill 100 on Wednesday, the final move is now putting pen to paper.

"We will be back in Austin upon the Governor's signature," said Trevor Theunissen, Uber's public affairs lead for the Texas region.

House Bill 100 would establish a statewide framework to regulate ride-hailing companies and undo local rules that the two companies have argued are overly burdensome for their business models.
For more reporting on HB 100, read coverage from Community Impact Newspaper partner The Texas Tribune.

Scott Dunaway, a public relations representative for Lyft, said Thursday in an email that Lyft will return to the city when the bill is signed or as soon as "we are legally allowed to do so."

A text was sent out to Lyft users Thursday morning:

"Texas passed statewide ridesharing rules and we'll be back in Austin once Gov. Abbott signs the bill into law! Thanks for your support and patience."

Representatives from both companies expressed in January to Community Impact Newspaper their support for statewide ride-hailing regulations.

In a statement to the media Wednesday, Mayor Steve Adler said he was disappointed state lawmakers chose to undo the will of Austin voters.

"Our city should be proud of how we filled the gap created when Uber and Lyft left, and we now must hope that they return ready to compete in a way that reflects Austin’s values," Adler said.

In December 2015, Austin City Council enacted an ordinance requiring ride-hailing drivers to under fingerprint-based background checks.

Last May, Uber and Lyft’s alternative to the city ordinance, a ballot proposition that proposed looser regulations with voluntary fingerprinting, was defeated by voters. The two companies then followed through on their promise to voluntarily stop operations in the city because the stricter regulations remained in place.

Following the May vote and Uber and Lyft’s subsequent departure, several smaller ride-hailing companies entered the fray in Austin: RideAustin, Fare, Fasten, GetMe and Wingz, among others.
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