Drivers without proper permits have vehicles impounded

Evening traffic on Austin highways.
Evening traffic on Austin highways.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Four drivers are having to pay to get their rides back after allegedly breaking Austin’s permitting rules this weekend, according to records from the Austin Transportation Department.

The records show the drivers did not have valid city chauffer’s permits and also had “no valid operating authority/taxicab franchise.”

Austin continues to enforce current rules while the city mulls changes.

The city manager and a working group are trying to come up with a pilot program that would allow services such as Lyft and Uber to operate in the city. City officials say a plan should be in front of city council by the end of the year.

Uber and Lyft are both operating in the city.

Uber launched just days after Lyft, another rideshare service that started operations despite city regulations.

At the end of May, two drivers for Lyft were ticketed and had their vehicles impounded. A third driver was also cited for operating without a valid city chauffeur’s license and driving with an invalid license that weekend.

The City of Austin reports both Lyft drivers were cited for not having a valid city chauffeur’s license.

According to a statement by the Austin Transportation Department, a chauffeur’s permit is required for any driver who is being paid by a company or passenger for more than the $0.56 per mile Federal Reimbursement rate.

The records for this weekend show one person was arrested because he/she had felony warrants. Another driver was caught violating transportation code for the third time. One of the drivers also had an expired inspection, the document shows.

A spokesperson from the Austin Transportation Department issued this statement Monday:

“Ground transportation compliance is a division that has been in operation for years to ensure Austinites are provided safe and reliable ground transportation options. When a passenger gets into a vehicle, it is our job to ensure that vehicle has been inspected, there is a reliable driver and the customer knows what fees will be charged for the rides. These assurances are typically not provided by unpermitted operators.” -Austin Transportation Department

Fourteen drivers have had their cars impounded for not operating with the proper permits in the last month, according to city records.

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