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Uber, Lyft Leave Austin Over Fingerprinting Ordinance

May 9, 2016, 4:00 AM

Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft have ceased operations in Austin, Texas, following a defeat at the ballot box, as voters rejected an ordinance that would have halted fingerprint-based criminal background checks for new ride-share drivers in the city.

Defeated with 56 percent of the vote May 7, Proposition 1 would have replaced city regulations with a new ordinance written by Uber and Lyft representatives.

The companies have long maintained that their background checks are sufficiently stringent. The fingerprint checks—conducted by the city—are burdensome and costly, making it more difficult to recruit drivers, the companies have said.

The two companies have ...