Uber and Lyft will leave San Antonio

The second time was not the charm.


The revisions to the vehicles-for-hire ordinance, approved in a 8-2 vote, eased regulations the council had originally adopted in December and were meant to persuade Lyft and Uber to continue operating in San Antonio. But after the vote, Lyft and Uber said the revised policy was still too burdensome and that they would halt operations in San Antonio before it started being enforced.

Both companies said they want to stay in San Antonio, and council members say they want the companies to stick around. But a gulf exists between the city and the companies on the details of the policy, seeming to put the situation at a standstill.


“Without significant revisions to the ordinance before implementation, we will be forced to make the difficult decision to pause Lyft’s operations in San Antonio,” spokeswoman Chelsea Wilson said in a statement.

A key disagreement is how extensive a background check a driver needs to get a permit. The regulations adopted in December would have required drivers to pass a city-reviewed background check, including fingerprinting. The policy approved Thursday allows drivers to start operating once they pass the company’s background check, but still requires them to pass the city background check within 14 days.

Both Lyft and Uber argue that extra step is unnecessary, placing a burden on drivers who have already passed a rigorous company review.

See here for the background. I guess I’m a little surprised that it ultimately went down this way. There sure seemed like a lot of public support for allowing Uber and Lyft to operate, and as previously seen at least two of the major candidates for Mayor favored that outcome. You have to wonder if we’ve seen the last of this, or if it might come up again after the May election if there’s a new Mayor in place. The Rivard Report has more.

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