Citing Losses, Fare Quits Austin as Uber, Lyft Resume Service

Austin—The return of Uber and Lyft to Austin has claimed its first casualty.

Fare began operating last summer, shortly after the ride-hailing giants quit the Texas capital following voters’ approval of stringent rules that the companies were against.

Late on Monday, Fare announced in an e-mail to customers that “we are unable to endure the recent loss of business.”

In the recent session of the Texas Legislature, lawmakers approved a state law that got rid of fingerprint background checks—which negated the local Austin law. At Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature, Uber and Lyft announced they would return service to the city. (My colleague David Holley spoke to two other ride-hailing companies about a future with Uber and Lyft last week.)

RideAustin, another local ride-hailing company that popped up in the last year, has said it has seen a 36 percent drop in rides since Uber and Lyft resumed service, according to KVUE-TV in Austin.

In an e-mail to customers, RideAustin said it has raised more than $250,000 for local charities since its inception and has provided nearly two million rides.

“You have a choice in how you ride, and whether your money stays right here in Austin—or goes to Silicon Valley billionaires,” the company said. “And just remember, when you choose RideAustin, you save puppies (and more)!”

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