Despite an $8 million dollar campaign by ride-hailing companies, Austin-area voters on Saturday rejected a proposal by Uber and Lyft to self-regulate their drivers and mandated stricter rules on the companies, including fingerprint background checks and emblems on cars.
Uber and Lyft had threatened to pull their operations from Austin should their proposal fail. The election was being closely watched across the USA as other cities, including Los Angeles and Miami, grapple with how best to regulate the ride-hailing companies. Results showed 56 percent of voters opposed Proposition 1, the initiative favored by the companies, and 44 percent were for it, according to Travis County election results.
"The people have spoken tonight loud and clear," Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement. "Uber and Lyft are welcome to stay in Austin, and I invite them to the table regardless. Austin is an innovative and creative city, and we'll need to be at our most creative and innovative now."