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Texas Rolls Out New Statewide Ride-Sharing Changes


Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed a bill creating statewide regulations for ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, voiding heavily debated local rules set by cities. The law went into effect immediately. Uber and Lyft have announced plans to resume operations in Austin, where the two companies had previously withdrawn over a city ordinance that required drivers to get fingerprint background checks, a policy both have heavily resisted in other cities. Lyft will also move back into Houston, having left over Houston's similar laws. 

The new law requires ride-sharing companies to have a permit from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and pay an annual fee of $5K to operate throughout the state. Companies are also required to perform local, state and national criminal background checks on drivers annually. 

The statewide regulations have put an end to the debate over ride-sharing in Austin, where voters rejected a local ballot proposition over the issue. In the months since, several alternatives have rushed to fill the void left by Uber and Lyft. Texas joins 41 other states that have adopted comprehensive statewide ride-sharing laws. 

Related Topics: Uber, Lyft, Gov Abbott