Uber and Lyft, the two ride-hailing firms that left several Texas markets over controversy tied to fingerprint background checks, may be coming back.
Reuters reports that the state’s governor, Greg Abbott, will sign a bill over the next few days that comes in the wake of House Bill 100’s approval last week.
That bill sets up state regulations that will, as the newswire stated, “shield” those two ride-hailing giants from “bruising” battles over the checks, and also lets them reenter Austin, Galveston and Corpus Christi. Lyft will also be able to come back to Houston, where Uber reigns. The statewide system is one that has been in place in 40 other states and overrides local regulations.
The bill, in this case, eliminates local mandates, including a fingerprint directive in Austin, and had been the impetus for the two firms’ departures. This follows lawmakers in states such as New York and Alaska, who have passed similar measures that take some leverage away from local governments when it comes to regulating ride-hailing services.
The two companies had spent millions last year during election season to help push back on regulations at the city level, lost that battle and then concentrated efforts at the state level. The newswire said that the two companies are likely to spend as much as $2.3 million in the state on lobbying efforts, according to Texans for Public Justice. Uber and Lyft are likely to reenter the aforementioned markets as soon as the governor signs the legislation, said Reuters.