Transportation

Houston Can No Longer Regulate Uber and Lyft Now That The State Passes New Law

City officials say they’re disappointed but they want to work with the companies going forward.

The new state legislation gets rid of the fingerprint background checks that prompted the rideshare company Lyft to pull out of Houston in 2014.

After Governor Greg Abbott signed a measure that regulates those companies statewide, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Houston will no longer be able to guarantee that a rideshare vehicle is roadworthy or that a driver’s name has been run through the FBI database.

Lara Cottingham with the city’s Department of Administration and Regulatory Affairs says they’re disappointed the city’s rules didn’t hold, but they are willing to work with rideshare companies going forward.

“We have a lot of mobility, a lot of congestion issues,” says Cottingham. “And transportation network companies are undoubtedly going to play a role in that.”

The state’s new law won’t have any effect on the city’s current taxicab regulations. But Cottingham says if you have a dispute with Uber or Lyft the city won’t be able to help.

“If you have a complaint, all of those things will have to go to the state,” adds Cottingham. “Or maybe you’ll have to reach out to your state legislator.”

Following the passage of House Bill 100, both Uber and Lyft are returning to Austin. They left last year over that city’s fingerprint regulations.

Uber says it is also resuming service in Galveston in time for the summer tourist season. 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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