Upstate Uber, Lyft May Arrive Sooner Than Expected

Sen. Charles Schwertner R-Georgetown visits with State Rep. Chris Paddie R-Marshall after Senate passage of HB 100 which would regulate ride-hailing companies statewide.  

A bill imposing state regulations on ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft was passed Wednesday by the Texas Senate.

In an emails to KUT, spokespeople for both Uber and Lyft said the companies would return to Austin immediately if Abbott signs the bill.

Alaska House Speaker Bryce Edgmon says there doesn't appear to be support at this point to extend the legislative session by another 10 days. The right question is, "How will Uber and Lyft win back drivers and customers after leaving them high and dry previous year?"

"A statewide framework ... will help bring greater economic opportunity and expanded access to safe, reliable transportation options to more Texans", Sarfraz Maredia, general manager for Uber Texas, said in a statement.

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Plus, a measure to regulate ride-hailing companies statewide is on its way to the Governor's desk. The Texas House originally had its choice of bills, each crafted to wrest control of regulation from overreaching cities like Austin.

There was a push past year to regulate ride-sharing across NY, but lawmakers couldn't reach an agreement. Houston and Austin are among the cities that now require fingerprinting and background checks. The bill requires annual background checks, but not fingerprinting. But how can you feel comfortable with the person who's behind the wheel?

"We are especially grateful for the leadership of Rep. Chris Paddie and Sen".

Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) characterized that language as unnecessary for a bill regulating ride-hailing apps.

"I think with any change-and this is an innovative change for transportation-there's going to be some concerns", Costello said.

The language put Uber and Lyft on the defense with some equal rights groups.

The House and Senate also remain at odds over oil tax and credit policy. They no longer would have to comply with the background checks mandated by the cities, and could return to places like Austin and Galveston where they have left because of local rules.

Hailing a ride with Uber Technologies Inc. and similar platforms is a reimbursable travel expense for federal employees under a law President Donald Trump signed May 16.

The 13abc I-Team digs into what it takes to become a ride share driver for companies like Lyft and Uber.

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