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Uber, cab companies release competing polls

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 by Tyler Whitson

Do Austinites support regulations – currently under consideration by City Council – for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft? It is apparently a landslide in either direction, depending on whom – and how – you ask. On Wednesday, Uber released the results of a poll that it commissioned through pollster We Ask America stating that 70 percent of Austin voters “support keeping the current rules to prevent the elimination of ridesharing,” though it does not go into detail about the proposed rules in its poll. One week earlier, on Dec. 2, TX Rides for Hire – an interest group consisting of Texas taxi and transportation companies – released the results of a poll it commissioned through Littlefield & Associates Consulting. According to those results, 70 percent of likely voters support “common sense safety rules for ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft,” specifically fingerprint-based background checks. Council directed city staff on Oct. 15 to draft separate ordinances, one that would set operating fees for transportation network companies and another that would require their drivers to pass fingerprint-based background checks before being hired. Uber and Lyft have both vocally criticized the latter proposal, stating that, with some exceptions, neither company chooses to operate in cities with such a policy.

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