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City Takes First Step Toward Rideshare Pilot Progam

Updated: Friday, June 13 2014, 06:16 PM CDT
There is new progress in the Rideshare battle in Austin.

Companies like Uber and Lyft are already operating here before the City of Austin has approved it.

Wednesday night the city took a first big step in starting a pilot program to allow "vehicle-for-hire" services to operate.

Al Shire is one of several people that attended the meeting Wednesday night to talk about the future of rideshare programs in Austin.

Shire said he is one of the few cab drivers supporting the alternative companies, but he said rules need to be fair and safe across the board.

It doesn't matter if it's a short trip or a long trip; everybody in this world has somewhere that they need to be. When they want to go they want to go, and no one wants to wait, and no one really deserves to wait either," Shire said. "What I'm looking at is the safety of the passenger. It doesn't matter if they are going two blocks or 25 miles their safety should be our main concern."

The city invited any and all stakeholders in the matter to the meeting.

Rideshare riders and drivers like Florencio Gonzales said these services are desperately needed.

He said not only do they give people like him jobs, but it is an extra alternative to not drink and drive when cabs are not an option.

"If you have ever been out at night you can't get a cab you are going to wait for hours to get a cab if you get one at all," Gonzales said. "I've been that guy waving cabs. Some people roll the dice, and they don't walk home. There is a big problem with drunk driving, so I think that's a need for the rideshare."

The taskforce has about six months to compile recommendations for the pilot program, and those will then go to the City Council.  
By Cassie GalloCity Takes First Step Toward Rideshare Pilot Progam

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