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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Will SA Wave Goodbye to Uber, Lyft?

Posted By on Wed, Dec 10, 2014 at 10:12 AM

click image San Antonio City Council votes Thursday on whether to kick Lyft and Uber out of the Alamo City, um, we mean, votes on proposed regulations for the ride-share companies. - ALEXA GARCIA-DITTA
  • Alexa Garcia-Ditta
  • San Antonio City Council votes Thursday on whether to kick Lyft and Uber out of the Alamo City, um, we mean, votes on proposed regulations for the ride-share companies.

As I was driving down Interstate 35 south this morning, a white truck carrying a large sign was slowing the right lane down to like 50 mph on the highway. But I'm never in a hurry when I drive and my exit was quickly approaching. I wanted to see what that truck was carrying because it looked like an awkward load, and as I took my exit and passed, I read the huge sign. It was Uber and the sign implored City Council to vote no to proposed transportation network company regulations.

I would have taken a picture, but I don't use my phone while driving. Sorry. 

This debate has been heated since both Lyft and Uber started operating in San Antonio earlier this year. The police issued a cease-and-desist order, and Yellow Cab has repeatedly accused the San Antonio police of not enforcing it.

Last week, only two City Council members—District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña and District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg—spoke out against the proposed regulations. So it seems there is widespread support for the regulations, which provide for the stiffest insurance regulations in Texas and a permitting process that Lyft and Uber say is overly burdensome for part-time drivers. Both companies said they will pull operations from the Alamo City if the rules are opposed. 

You can read more about why Lyft and Uber will leave in a story we published earlier today.

This weekend, Yellow Cab—the largest and most vocal opponent of Lyft and Uber—sent out a long letter called the TNC Myth vs. Fact. Click this link to read it.

Uber also sent out a letter, but to City Council, which explains in detail to the council why a majority yes vote on the proposed regulations will lead to Uber pulling its business from San Antonio. You can read that letter by clicking this link.

Last week, Nirenberg told us he may offer amendments during the vote in an attempt to keep Uber and Lyft in San Antonio, but he didn't elaborate on the details. And Alan Warrick, who beat current District 2 Councilman Keith Toney in a runoff last night, told the San Antonio Express-News that he would speak at Thursday's meeting and ask City Council to postpone the vote. However, Toney, who has verbally excoriated Lyft and Uber in public meetings, will be on the dais.

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