Monthly Archives: May 2016

Top 10 Ways the City of Austin Failed Themselves with Prop 1! #Uber #Lyft

Campaign signs concerning a municipal vote over fingerprint requirements for ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft are seen along a roadway in Austin, Texas, May 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jon Herskovitz

1. Taxi Service – Taxi service is a dying industry which is too expensive, slow, and lacks efficiency. Let it die like Blockbuster, Blackberry Phones, MySpace, or Music CDs and cassette tapes. If the city of Austin had their way, we’d still be using floppy disks.
2. Drunk Drivers – Ride sharing dropped the rate of drunk drivers by up to 23%. This is a public safety issue that should be celebrated.
3. Public Transportation – Austin’s current public transportation is inadequate to support the growing population in Austin. 100 people move here everyday. We only have Interstate 35 north and south, and no other way around it.
4. Jail Time – Incarcerations and possible death due to drunk drivers will increase by up to 23%, which will yield hefty fines of up to $10K – $15k, plus jail time. This may be what the mayor and the chief of police had in mind. Follow the money.
5. Tech Companies – Tech companies relocating to Austin depend on ride sharing. Just ask anyone from Dell, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Oracle, IBM and a plethora of startups.
6. Service Workers – Service Workers (hotels, restaurants, resorts) depend on ride sharing services to get to and from work. They can’t afford a taxi. How many jobs will be lost because of lack of dependable transportation? Uber alone employs 15,000+ people that live and work within the city limits.
7. Ride Sharing Apps – Ride Sharing Apps are the major disruption to taxi service. Why? You get detailed information about the rider, destination, ETA, and profile of driver. You can see the route the driver traveled, the credit card information is on file, total paperless, hassle free system. Taxi service gets a dispatcher, which in my experience is always the personification of customer service (sarcasm). The dispatcher has to negotiate with a driver in the nearby vicinity, but with ride sharing apps, it is automatic based on GPS coordinates.
8. Tourism and Conventions – Tourism and Conventions considering Austin may look at transportation as an issue as a reason to not have an event in Austin. Tourists on vacation may have reservations about it.
9. Background Checks & Fingerprinting – Background checks of Uber/Lyft drivers is mandatory, but nobody seems to be concerned about background checks of taxi drivers. I mean disrespect to cab drivers, but sometimes I wonder about who these people are. At least with the ride sharing app, I have a profile of my driver, and a rating system.
10. Tech Savvy Credentials – Austin loses it’s credibility as a tech savvy city. Still a horse and buggy town.

The problem with disruptive technologies is that the established businesses are too busy obstructing instead of innovating. And to the politicians that see short term gains from DWI fines and imprisonment, shame on you. You are missing the bigger picture.