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Uber, Lyft drivers use strike day to promote Ride Austin

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In lieu of formal action, some suggest riders use local nonprofit ride-hailing app

Crowd with person holding up sign that says “Shame on Uber”
2016 Uber drivers strike in New York City
Getty Images

As Uber and Lyft drivers in major U.S. cities prepare to strike Wednesday ahead of the Uber’s announced IPO, some Austin drivers are joining the protest in a different way.

Organized by Rideshare Drivers United—Los Angeles, the action will take place on Wednesday, when striking drivers will shut off their Uber and Lyft apps for 24 hours, starting at midnight. There will also be pickets, rallies, and speeches in support of the drivers.

According to a press release from Rideshare Drivers United—LA, the reason for the strike is to demand that that Uber reverse a wage drop and that both Uber and Lyft guarantee LA drivers a minimum hourly rate.

Worker organizations for ride-hailing, taxi, and limo drivers in Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. will join the strike. Groups in Georgia, Connecticut, and one called Gig Workers United have also signed on as well.

Drivers in Austin have not committed to the strike in any organized way, but some are finding ways to In lieu of formal action, some are suggest riders use local nonprofit ride-hailing company app Ride Austin instead of better-known giants.

A Monday UberPeople forum thread post from a user with the handle Just Treat Me Fair read:

I’m experiencing a growing number of passengers asking about the Strike scheduled in some places this Wednesday morning.

Rather than saying “not here” take the opportunity to promote Ride Austin.

”I’ve heard all the talk and there is no shortage of local drivers that may shut off their app in support of the strike but Austin has an alternative that came to exist when Uber and Lyft both chose to pull out of Austin over regulations they did not agree with. Download Ride Austin and be prepared. Check it out and you will find cheaper fares and ability to support Non-Profit causes any day of the week.”

The current core of Ride Austin passengers are people well aware Uber/Lyft greed and misdoings that like supporting local charities.

Ride Austin was created by local tech leaders in 2016, after Uber and Lyft stopped operating in the city due to a failed referendum to overturn Austin City Council regulations. According to its website, it’s the only nonprofit ride-hailing company in the world, pays drivers more than other companies, and donates to local charities (as well as have a system for allowing drivers to do so with a portion of fares).