The two ride-sharing giants are shutting down operations in the city on Monday rather than submit to fingerprint-based background checks, licensing and additional rules. The move comes in the wake of Uber and Lyft spending more than $8 million on a ballot initiative pushing their preferred rules which failed with the city’s voters on Saturday. It was the most expensive political campaign in Austin history with Lyft even enlisting Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch as a spokesman.
In a statement, Uber’s general in manager in Austin, Chris Nakutis, said:
Disappointment does not begin to describe how we feel about shutting down operations in Austin. We hope the City Council will reconsider their ordinance so we can work together to make the streets of Austin a safer place for everyone.
In the wake of the announcement, mayor Steve Adler responded:
The people have spoken clearly tonight. Uber & Lyft are welcome to stay & I invite them to the table regardless. (1/2)
— Mayor Steve Adler (@MayorAdler) May 8, 2016