Revised SA vehicles for hire ordinance not good enough for Uber

That would be a nope.


With an impending council decision, efforts by the city to revise its vehicles-for-hire ordinance to convince the ride-hailing companies Lyft and Uber to remain in San Antonio appear to have only left both sides in the fight dissatisfied.

The San Antonio City Council is scheduled to vote [today] on city recommendations that would significantly ease regulations on Lyft and Uber that the council had originally adopted in December. But on Wednesday, Uber said the city’s concessions did not go far enough to keep the company operating in San Antonio.

Instead, Uber said, the council needed to repeal the policy and “replace it with smart regulations similar to those adopted by nearly two dozen other jurisdictions, including Austin.”

“Without a full repeal, we will be forced to leave town,” Chris Nakutis, Uber’s general manager for Texas, said in a statement.


Nakutis said the company remained open to negotiating with the city. Uber provided 13,000 rides in San Antonio last week, he said.

But the background check may be a non-starter for councilmembers, said District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña. Saldaña has been working on the proposed ordinance revisions and said most councilmembers were on board, but that the council would likely mandate a city-approved background check.

“I would push them to work with San Antonio, because we’re trying to work with them,” Saldaña said about Uber. “There are a majority of council members who want them to stay.”

See here, here, and here for the background. Uber’s statement is here; it’s summarized, with other details, by the Rivard Report. Lyft may not have made a statement for that story, but their objection to Houston’s background check requirements was a reason why they declined to operate here, so I’d say there’s a good chance they won’t be sticking around the Alamo City, either. Will there be a re-retry later, perhaps after the Mayoral election? I have no idea.

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