On-call for trip groups Uber and Lyft suffered an embarrassing defeat in a Saturday election in Austin ascitizens backed a measure requiring fingerprint background tests for drivers.
the 2 companies spent extra than $eight million to repeal a metropolis ordinance requiring the fingerprint-based totally criminal checks and launched what become the most steeply-priced race in the Texas capital’s history. citizens said by means of a margin of fifty six to forty four percent they desired the fingerprint tests to live.
The corporations outspent their combatants by means of 80-to-1 and while the votes had been tallied their marketing campaign contributions broke right down to being more than $2 hundred for every vote indesire in their position.
“unhappiness does now not begin to describe how we sense about shutting down operations in Austin,” Uber’s Austin widespread supervisor Chris Nakutis stated in a announcement.
The stakes had been excessive for the privately held Uber and Lyft, which say their history assessmentsare already rigorous and make sure safety.
“lamentably, the rules handed through city Council do not allow authentic ridesharing to function,” Lyftstated, including it will suspend operations in Austin as of Monday.
The loss should prod other towns to require fingerprint criminal history tests, endorsed that they are able to continue to exist a bruising electoral war with the experience-hailing services, analysts said.
The high-priced municipal election in Austin came as other towns remember enforcing fingerprint-primarily based heritage exams on drivers. The Austin election marked the first time a primary US townplaced the policies to a vote, which happened after a petition force by using Ridesharing Works for Austin, the political motion organization underwritten by means of Uber and Lyft.
citizens had been requested to determine whether or not a transportation ordinance surpassed by thetown Council in December must be repealed and changed with one backed by the on-call for journeycorporations.
The city ordinance requires all journey-hailing service drivers to have fingerprint-primarily based criminalheritage assessments, whilst the journey-hailing organizations subsidized one that does not.
The organization helping mandated fingerprinting said the heavy spending changed into a signal that the Uber and Lyft campaign become inspired greater by corporate earnings than passenger safety.
other locations fighting over fingerprints include Atlanta and Houston, which in conjunction with new york is one of the main US cities wherein Uber operates even though its drivers are required to go through the fingerprint historical past exams.
© Thomson Reuters 2016
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