Group pushes temporary rules for Uber, Lyft

In this March 12, 2014 photo, passenger Katie Baranyuk, left, and Dara Jenkins, right, a driver for the ride-sharing service Lyft, perform Lyft's trademark fist-bump as they pose for a photo after Baranyuk got a ride from Jenkins to downtown Seattle to meet friends after work. In a fight pitting upstart technology and traditional business, app-based ridesharing firms are fighting with taxi companies for supremacy in the Seattle market. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Some advocates say Austin needs more transportation options to combat drunk driving. Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft say they can make the difference, but say city laws haven’t kept up with the times. Now, there’s a new push to get the city of Austin to give the green light.

The year is already more than halfway over and Austin still has several major events on the calendar including ACL, Formula One and five more UT home games. ATX Safer Streets wants the Austin City Council to make temporary fixes that would allow ridesharing companies to help many find a sober ride home and is encouraging Austinites to sign a petition.

The petition asks the council to consider interim rules that would allow Uber and Lyft to operate until more permanent regulations are made. ATX Safer Streets says they want to see ridesharing legalized in Austin because they provide a much needed service by helping people get a ride home after a night out on the town without feeling like they’re breaking the law by using an unlicensed chauffeur. Additionally, they encourage legalizing the companies because it would increase the availability of drivers.

“We’d like to see it legalized so that more people can use it and aren’t scared to use it because of impounds,” explained ATX Safer Streets spokeswoman Sara Levine.

After about five days, the group has gathered 225 signatures.

You can read the whole petition here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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