More or less the entire world knows that Austin imposed such onerous regulations on Uber and Lyft that they withdrew from the city rather than suffer under the burden. Since taxis are too expensive for many people, generally suck, and in any case are in short supply in Austin because the local politicians have so decreed, a massive black market — a fleet of “gypsy cabs,” to those of us of a certain age and incorrectness — has emerged. More than 30,000 people (as of early June) have joined a Facebook group and arrange for entirely unregulated rides off the grid, thereby vitiating the disingenuos “safety” rationale put forth by the “progressives” on the Austin city council.
Well, apparently the Austin Police Department has decided, or been instructed, to put its jackboots down on the necks of the now illegal — or, because it is Austin, perhaps “undocumented” — drivers trying to recover some of the income they lost.
The city of Austin is using sting operations to crack down on drivers working for unlicensed ride-hailing companies, issue fines and seize cars, authorities told the American-Statesman on Tuesday.
The cars of four drivers for Arcade City, a peer-to-peer service that connects passengers with drivers through its Facebook page, were impounded Friday after the city’s Transportation Department conducted a sting.
Yeah, don’t issue a ticket to these poor slobs. Impound their freaking cars so they cannot get to any other job, either. That’ll fix ’em just right.
Addendum: Here’s an interesting post with a lot more detail around the illegal ridesharing cooperatives. The significant safety issues compared to Uber and Lyft ought to make anybody realize how much safety the established companies imposed by the operation of the apps.