We asked, and nearly 3,000 of you answered. Many were feeling the absence of Uber and Lyft in the first weekend since the ride-hailing companies suspended their services in Austin following voters’ rejection of the Prop 1 bid. According to our poll results, which can be viewed in full below, the majority of respondents (64 percent) said they opted to stay home after failing to find a ride. The second-most popular option was to catch a ride with a friend. Only 6 percent of voters said they opted for an alternative ride-hailing service.
As a few people pointed out, our poll didn’t include an option for those who chose to drive themselves.
After 56 percent of Austin voters rejected Proposition 1 — which would have repealed certain Austin City Council regulations on ride-hailing services, such as required fingerprint-based background checks — Uber and Lyft stopped operating in Austin early Monday.
Anyone who tried using Uber received the following message from the app: “No pickups as of May 9th. Uber not currently available in Austin. Due to regulations passed by City Council, Uber is no longer available within Austin city limits. We hope to resume operations under modern ridesharing regulations in the near future.”
As residents of a city often seeking transportation solutions, Austinites took to social media to air their takes on the development. On the Austin American-Statesman’s Facebook page, many users have tried to clear up why they think Prop 1 failed.
Alfred Zambrano: If the “citizens of Austin had taken the time to go to the polls and vote in favor of Uber/Lyft, then the two companies would still be in operation. It’s just that simple.”
Matt Wofford: “Business doesnt want to follow rules. Business spends millions to change rules to suit them. Business fails to change rules. Business pouts like a 5 year old and takes back all of its toys. Business spends more money to change state law to support it. “Limited Government” conservatives change the rules to circumvent local government, ala Denton Fracking Ban.”
Jacob Dowell: “Either side chose not to negotiate or it probably wouldn’t have gone to the polls, you shouldn’t blame one side or the other.”
Ivan Gonzalez: “Let’s be 100% clear. ‘The city’ did not kick out Uber/Lyft. Neither did the voters. Uber and Lyft decided that the market was not worth serving if their drivers had to undergo fingerprinting, display trade dress, and refrain from loading and unloading in travel lanes.”
Allen Drewe: “The refrain from loading and unloading is 100% ridiculous. Anyone that drives downtown can see UPS and other freight people in the middle of the road, taxis do it, busses do it, somehow uber and Lyft are special and must have assigned pick up and drop off lanes. Idk why uber/Lyft didn’t just focus on the ridiculous parts of Austins regulations. It was never just about fingerprinting.”
Other readers have offered their thoughts on what the absence of Uber and Lyft will mean for the city — and whether the services will actually return.
Will Bray: “This wasn’t really about the background checks. This was about what it might lead to, legally, for Uber. Treating the drivers as professionals and as employees could mean Uber would be more responsible for drivers’ actions. It would also be a step toward letting the drivers unionize and organize, allowing them to negotiate better pay from Uber. Uber can’t allow that.”
Alexander Schoch: “Stubbornness and self – righteousness have prevailed. Meanwhile the quality of life here in Austin will suffer. It’s really too bad that neither the City Council nor Uber/Lyft were willing to work together to find a solution.”
Gordon Hanovoice: “Do not forget the people who paid their bills with these apps. The ones in the middle are again screwed. The ones with kids, mortgages, bills, lives-all suspended. Right or wrong is not even the issues here.”
Beth Linan: “Every other city who ‘kicked’ Uber & Lyft out due to similar actions, they left for a short while but came back again. Austin’s too good a market to not be a part of it. They’ll be back….”
Over on Twitter, some users have taken to calling Uber and Lyft “spoiled children.”
“Four more please,” Taylor Kitsch tells the barkeep after finishing off a beer in his new ad for Lyft. At that rate “Friday Night Lights” bad boy Tim Riggins has every reason to find a safe ride home, and he doesn’t miss a beat in letting you know what it’ll be.
“You see ride-sharing is a lot like me; it’s beautiful,” Kitsch tells the camera. “It makes going out in Austin fun and safe again.” Under the dim and familiar lights of Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon, he proceeds to casually open a folder on his phone labeled “Ridesharing” and request a Lyft.
“Prop 1 is a vote people are going to talk about for years to come. So vote for Prop 1,” Kitsch says before hopping in a car and directing his driver, “To Dillon.” Kitsch also spent some time on UT’s West Mall earlier this week posing for pictures with fans in front of a “Vote for Prop 1” backdrop.