Uber and Lyft sent a strong message today to cities trying to regulate on-demand driver services: "We're outta here."
The two ride-hailing services shut down their operations in Austin, Texas after a local vote on Saturday didn’t go their way. Proposition 1, a ballot measure to exempt Uber and Lyft from running stronger background checks on their drivers and prohibiting drivers from dropping off or picking up customers in traffic lanes, went before city voters for consideration.
The ballot measure failed to pass, with 56 percent of voters supporting the background checks and traffic lane safety measures.
“Disappointment does not begin to describe how we feel about shutting down operations in Austin," Uber’s general manager for Austin, Chris Nakutis, said in a statement.
"Lyft and Austin are a perfect match and we want to stay in the city," a spokesperson for Lyft said.
Austin representatives have said they're not happy to see the companies drive away, but they won’t ignore voters to bring them back either.
"Nobody wants them to leave and we’re not asking them to leave," Austin City Councilwoman Ann Kitchen told KUTX. "We held the election, they said they wanted. It's time to listen to the voters and for them to sit down with us."