Mar 13, 2017

SXSW is challenging Austin's ride-hailing options

Jeremy Keith / Flickr CC

For the first time in in a couple of years, thousands of techies have had to get around Austin during South by Southwest without being able to hop in an Uber or Lyft ride—and the alternatives have had mixed success.

  • Back story: Uber and Lyft packed up and left town last year after a failed campaign to reverse a new city requirement that drivers get fingerprinted. Fasten, Fare, and Ride Austin, among others, have since set up shop and won drivers over by charging them less while offering passengers a familiar service via mobile apps at reasonable prices.
  • Stress test: While these alternatives seem to have generally done well for Austinites on average days, SXSW is no usual time. On Saturday night, many found themselves frustrated as they attempted to get a ride to avoid the rain, yet the apps weren't working.
  • Counterpoint: Though seemingly a huge inconvenience, it may be much ado about nothing, as some on Twitter have argued. After all, Uber and Lyft have only existed for a few years, and festival-goers managed just fine before that. What's more, Uber and Lyft haven't been banned—they're simply choosing not to operate in Austin because it requires their drivers get fingerprinted.

Go deeper

Biden says he's starting VP search this month

Joe Biden. Photo: Scott Olson / Staff

Joe Biden said he's spoken to Sen. Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama about selecting a running mate — and that he wants to build "a bench of younger, really qualified people" who can lead the nation over the course of the next four presidential cycles.

Driving the news: Biden spoke about the state of the 2020 race during a virtual fundraiser on Friday night that was opened to pooled coverage.

Trump ousting intelligence community inspector general

Michael Atkinson, inspector general of the intelligence community. Photo: Bill Clark / Getty Images

President Trump notified key lawmakers on Friday that he’s firing Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community's inspector general, who first alerted Congress last September of an "urgent" complaint from an official involving Trump's correspondence with the Ukrainian president.

Why it matters: The move, to take effect in 30 days, comes amid a broader initiative to purge the administration of officials seen as disloyal to the president.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Axios Visuals

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,097,909 — Total deaths: 59,131 — Total recoveries: 226,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 277,828 — Total deaths: 7,406 — Total recoveries: 9,772Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. The federal government will cover the costs of COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  4. 2020 latest: "I think a lot of people cheat with mail-in voting," President Trump said of the 2020 election, as more states hold primary elections by mail. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday that every county in the state opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start. The DOT is urging airlines to refund passengers due to canceled or rescheduled flights, but won't take action against airlines that provide vouchers or credits.
  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
  8. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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