Uber and Lyft had hoped to begin service before the lucrative and busy July Fourth weekend, but the required 90-day delay pushed the date to July 9 when lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo failed to reach a deal on a state budget on time. Costello said criticism from current cab drivers about the bill devaluing their livelihoods has to be measured against potential new jobs created by TNCs coming into the state. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, will require rideshare companies to pay a $5,000 annual state permit, and mandate drivers maintain digital identification information and not discriminate against passengers, among other regulations.
The bill previously cleared the House, which included tea party-backed language defining "sex" as the "physical condition of being male or female".
Schwertner said in a statement. Both claimed they found particularly onerous the fingerprint background check requirement for drivers.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner disagreed, noting the city has co-existed with Uber for more than two years.
The Texas Legislature has cleared the road for Uber and Lyft to return to Austin on their own terms. Uber issued a statement shortly after the final vote Wednesday saying that a statewide ride-hailing law "will help bring greater economic opportunity and expanded access to safe, reliable transportation options to more Texans", attributing those words to Uber Texas' general manager, Sarfraz Maredia.
Sen. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) characterized that language as unnecessary for a bill regulating ride-hailing apps. Later that year, Austin passed the local ordinance that the companies opposed. They no longer would have to comply with the background checks mandated by the cities, and could return to places like Austin and Galveston where they have left because of local rules.
The return of the multibillion-dollar colossuses casts a shadow over the handful of upstarts that filled in the considerable vacuum Uber and Lyft's departure created previous year.
Drivers who work for the company must have photo identification of themselves and their vehicle available in the app.
Huffines, who supported the HB 100 "reluctantly", said he anticipated further loosening of paid ride restrictions during the 2019 legislative session.