Austin’s top stories of 2016: No. 3: Voters say no to Uber, Lyft and yes to road bonds

YEAR IN REVIEW

COUNTING DOWN AUSTIN’S 10 BIGGEST STORIES

We’re counting down Austin’s 10 biggest stories of the year as chosen by American-Statesman reporters and editors. We’ll unveil one story each day through Jan. 1. 

Today: We announce No. 3 | Previously in our countdown: No. 4

Caption for 5/14 Leader: Both Lyft and Uber stated it would continue service outside of Austin city limits following the failed Proposition 1 vote. But both ridesharing companies prohibit their drivers from dropping off anyone in Austin. A vehicle displays both Uber and Lyft on 4th Street Friday, May 6, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American Statesman)

The Uber and Lyft icons are no longer visible in Austin after the companies decided to end service here after failing to overturn a city ordinance mandating security standards for ride-hailing companies. STEPHEN SPILLMAN / FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

When ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft objected to a new Austin ordinance requiring fingerprinting of drivers, a petition drive sent the matter to voters in a May election.

uberfrontThe bitter campaign that followed was the most expensive in the city’s history — more than $10 million spent in support of the ride-hailing companies. Fifty-seven percent of voters sided with the city and its requirements for ride companies.

Two days after the vote, Uber and Lyft carried out their campaign threat by deactivating their apps in Austin. Seven months later, they haven’t come back.

Austin voters were back at the polls in November with another transportation question, and 59 percent approved borrowing $720 million for local transportation projects. The bond will provide an unprecedented amount of money for roads all over the city, as well as trail and transit improvements.

Our coverage

Feb. 17: Sparring over Uber, Lyft rules in Austin extends to ballot language

April 8: Wear: Don’t mess up your vote: Here’s what Uber, Lyft ballot question means

May 8: Prop. 1 goes down as activist proclaims: ‘Austin made Uber an example’

May 9: Uber joins Lyft in suspending Austin service

July 18: Final Prop 1 tab for Uber, Lyft tops $10 million

July 22: We tested 7 post-Uber/Lyft ride-hailing apps

Aug. 18: Divided Austin City Council puts $720 million bond on November ballot

Oct. 7: How officials, opponents came up with tax impact of Austin road bond

Nov. 20: Deja Uber: Legislators look to override local ride-hailing rules

Nov. 9: Austin transportation bond passes with 59.1 percent of the vote

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