Editor's note: This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/06/09/should-texas-regulations-override-local-ride-hailing-rules-give-us-you/.
This legislative session, elected officials continued to battle over state vs. local control. The Texas Tribune wants to know what you think about these issues — and how they’re playing out in your communities.
The first issue we’re tackling is ride-hailing. On May 29, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation to place regulatory oversight of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft with the state. House Bill 100 pre-empts Texas cities from imposing ride-hailing regulations. Under standardized state rules, ride-hailing companies must have a permit from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, pay an annual fee to operate and perform local, state and national criminal background checks on drivers annually. But they don’t have to fingerprint their drivers, as an Austin ordinance previously mandated.
How has this change affected Texans? Austin Mayor Steve Adler was predictably disappointed that the Legislature overturned his city’s ordinance, but Uber and Lyft were thrilled to be back in business without fingerprint requirements they'd called burdensome. The Arizona-based ride-hailing app Fare left Austin shortly after Uber and Lyft returned.
Which brings us to you. As part of our ongoing effort to engage people directly affected by state policy, we’re asking you to tell us about your experience:
- What is your name?
- Where do you live?
- What ride-hailing services do you use and why?
- Who you think should regulate Uber and Lyft — the state or the cities?
Message us your Facebook video responses to these questions at m.me/texastribune, and we may include your take in an upcoming story.
Disclosure: Uber and Lyft have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.
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