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Uber, Lyft Get Boost in Ballot Battle as Former Mayor Steps Up to Lead Efforts

Political action committee seeks a return to "Leffingwell rules" for ride-hailing companies

Ridesharing Works for Austin, the political action committee responsible for the city's upcoming vote on repealing recent regulations for ride-hailing companies, got a major boost this week by bringing on Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell as its chairman, the Austin Business Journal reported this week.

The ballot initiative, called Proposition 1, was slated after Ridesharing Works, heavily funded by Uber and Lyft, led a successful petition drive to put replacing the city's existing ride-hailing ordinance to a vote.

The Journal notes that Uber and Lyft have donated more than $2.1 million to Ridesharing Works since January. Ridesharing Works has recently been running some well-produced television ads urging Austinites to vote in favor of Proposition 1.

Ridesharing Works' campaign objects to provisions of the existing law, which council passed in December 2015, that require drivers be fingerprinted for use in background checks and vehicles to display identifying company markers, prohibit pickup or dropoff in travel lanes, and allow the city to collect up to two percent of fees from ride-hailing companies.

The appointment of Leffingwell to head up the campaign is not surprising, as the group seeks to replace current regulations with rules approved when Leffingwell was mayor.

As vote nears, former Austin mayor sides with Uber, Lyft [Austin Business Journal]

Uber, Stay Gold Manager Take City Ballot to Court [Curbed Austin]

Uber, Lyft Get Pushback on Ridesharing Proposal [Curbed Austin]