Austin City Council moves closer to legalizing ridesharing companies

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) — While this Austin City Limits Music Festival weekend will be a big business boom, some companies will still be operating illegally within the city limits.

On Thursday afternoon, the Austin City Council decided to not legalize transportation network companies (TNC’s), e.g. Uber and Lyft, in time for ACL. While the Council did approve the item on the second reading, they still have to vote on a final reading at the next city council meeting on Oct. 16.

During Thursday’s session, city council members brought up parts of the ordinance that needed more clarification. Some lawmakers wanted more clarification on what kind of insurance drivers are obligated to have as well as how often TNC’s will be required to report their service logs.

Council member Laura Morrison wanted the ordinance to specifically include language that would allow the City (or a third party) to audit criminal background checks.

Earlier this week, KXAN News reported that regardless of the decision by the Council, Uber and Lyft were planning to operate anyway. 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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