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Uber and Lyft to return to Austin in time for Memorial Day

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Gov. Greg Abbott set to sign state ride-hailing law Monday

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Uber and Lyft will celebrate Memorial Day with Austin
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Ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft will be back in Austin starting Monday (Memorial Day), according to a Thursday Texas Tribune report.

According to the Tribune, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign House Bill 100—a bill that sets statewide regulations for the industry—into Monday. Both companies have announced they will begin operations anew in Austin once that signing has happened.

The state action, which essentially overrules local ride-hailing regulations throughout the state, came after a protracted battle in which Uber and Lyft left the city after losing an expensive campaign to roll back Austin ride-hailing regulations that required drivers with ride-hailing apps to undergo fingerprint-based background checks, instead of using the name-based checks that Uber and Lyft prefe.

Austin voters rejected the proposition at the ballot box in May, and the two companies were gone shortly thereafter. A successful lobbying effort at the Texas Legislature after it convened in January ultimately resulted in the passage of HB 100, which essentially overrides local governments’ control of the way the companies operate in their cities.

During the time Uber and Lyft weren’t servicing Austin, several smaller companies, stepped in to take their place. The Tribune reports that Austin Mayor Steve Adler issued a statement following the passage of HB 100 in which he expressed disappointment in the state’s action but praised the city’s ability to fill the void they left for drivers and riders. He also expressed the hope that “they return ready to compete in a way that reflects Austin’s values.”

Uber, Lyft returning to Austin on Monday [Texas Tribune]