Uber, Lyft Suspend Service in Austin Over Background Checks

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -

Uber and Lyft have suspended ride-hailing service in Austin after voters decided against overturning city requirements that include fingerprint-based background checks for their drivers.

The Austin American-Statesman reports that the two companies suspended service Monday morning. Nearly 56 percent of voters rejected a proposition Saturday that would have repealed rules the Austin City Council approved in December.

Under the rules, drivers must undergo fingerprint-based background checks by Feb. 1, 2017. Uber and Lyft prefer name-based checks. Their vehicles must be identified for hire and they cannot stop in traffic lanes for passenger drop-offs and pick-ups.

The companies messaged their customers Monday to say they are not operating in Austin.

Uber and Lyft had poured nearly $9 million into their campaign to overturn the rules.