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Posts Tagged ‘San Antonio’

Another look at AirBnB

Interesting. The hotel industry is starting to object. On Wednesday, a report funded by a national trade group claimed some Airbnb hosts function illegally and operate essentially as full-time hotels without the same health and safety oversight. It also says they can reduce the number of affordable options for full-time renters. The home-rental site has […]

Maybe the state should regulate Uber and Lyft after all

Texas Monthly reviews the current state of affairs with transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft and their fight against mandatory fingerprinting as part of the background checks that new drivers must ondergo, all of which is playing out in Austin right now. The argument in favor of the [fingerptint] provision is simple: Lyft and […]

Petitioners may force vote to change Austin rideshare ordinance

Assuming there were no shenanigans, this is an impressive show of force. A group looking to overturn an Austin ordinance requiring fingerprinting of ride-hailing drivers said Monday it has gathered more than 65,000 petition signatures, more than three times what it will need to force a possible election on a substitute ordinance. Ridesharing Works for […]

Another Uber lawsuit update

Looks like we are headed towards a jury trial soon. U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore has denied Uber’s request for summary judgment and rejected parts of the company’s motion to dismiss. “This court has found that the question of the literal falsity, or allegedly misleading nature, of Uber’s representations is a question of fact to […]

Austin versus San Antonio on ridesharing

The Current reviews the state of play. In the spring of 2014, Lyft led the way in Austin, but the company launched without city approval and was eventually banned, along with Uber, which launched in the capital a short time later. Roughly a year ago, Austin’s city council eased its fight, allowing ride-hailing companies to […]

AG’s office upholds Abbott’s line item vetos

Of course it does. Gov. Greg Abbott was well within his powers when he vetoed more than $200 million in funds approved by the Texas Legislature this year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office wrote in an opinion issued Monday. […] The nonbinding opinion, written by First Assistant Attorney General Chip Roy, has the potential […]

Austin passes new vehicles for hire regulations

It’ll be very interesting to see how this plays out. Defying implied threats that such a vote would chase Uber and Lyft out of town, the Austin City Council late Thursday put into city statutes mandatory fingerprint-based background checks for ride-hailing drivers. But the move will not immediately empty the streets of transportation network company […]

Garcia to challenge Green in CD29

This will be interesting to watch. Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia is challenging 23-year Democratic Congressman Gene Green in the 29th district, he told the Chronicle Monday, a risky intra-party challenge of a popular incumbent. The move comes less than two months after Garcia’s third-place finish in the Houston mayor’s race, which already had […]

Update on the cab companies’ lawsuit against Uber and Lyft

Yesterday I noted the latest lawsuit against Uber, filed in San Antonio by a former Uber driver who alleged that their pay amounted to a sub-minimum wage total. Over the weekend we got an update on the lawsuit filed here last April against both Uber and Lyft by various cab companies. The federal lawsuit in […]

Another lawsuit against Uber

Hard to keep track of them all. A former San Antonio-area driver for Uber has filed a class-action lawsuit against the ride-hailing company, alleging it pays drivers less than minimum wage, makes them eat expenses it should pay for and misleads users into thinking they do not have to tip drivers. David Micheletti is among […]

Everybody wants in on the rail action

We’re like a magical land of opportunity for high-speed rail interests. For more than three years, Japanese-backed Texas Central Partners has drawn attention with its plans to develop a Dallas-Houston bullet train. While that project is furthest along, French and Chinese rail interests are more quietly discussing the prospects for rail projects with state and […]

Initial day-after-election thoughts

– We now have two cycles’ worth of data to suggest that having more good candidates in a Council race does not necessarily lead to better outcomes. Following in the footsteps of At Large #3 in 2013, a handful of Democratic candidates in At Large #1 split the vote with sufficient closeness to keep them […]

If you really want to improve turnout in city elections

This is a plan that would do it. Councilman Ron Nirenberg [recently] called for a major change to local elections that he says would boost voter turnout and bolster public participation. The councilman said he’s spent years considering ways to address abysmal turnout in municipal elections, which are held in May of odd-numbered years. His […]

Uber returns to San Antonio

They’re back. The ink had barely dried on the signed operating agreement when ride-hailing firm Uber restarted operations in San Antonio Tuesday, ahead of competitor Lyft, which agreed to a deal in August but has yet to implement services here. The Uber smart-phone application went live Tuesday at about 3:30 p.m., just as the company […]

Endorsement watch: One Farias, two Farias

There’s one state race on the ballot this year, where there’s a special election in HD118 to succeed the retiring Rep. Joe Farias. The San Antonio Express News has endorsed Gabe Farias in that race. Six candidates — three Democrats and three Republicans — are seeking to replace former Rep. Joe Farias, who stepped down […]

Uber and Lyft versus fingerprints

They prefer to do their own background checks, which of course do not require fingerprint checks. Houston, San Antonio and Austin currently take different approaches to a key regulatory issue: whether vehicle-for-hire app drivers must undergo fingerprint background checks. The issue has proven pivotal to Uber and Lyft in Texas. Lyft refuses to operate in […]

More focus on inequality

Good to see. As Houston’s mayoral candidates spar over the city’s largely agreed upon top issues – finances, infrastructure and public safety – a fourth policy concern is percolating: economic inequality. Concerns about disparity underpin discussions about the city’s revenue cap, development incentives, education, even which roads to repair and when. Yet, when it comes […]

Uber update, part 1

The Chron, in conjunction with Al Jazeera Americas, gives the first of what should be a four-part look at how Uber is doing in Houson. Less than a year after Houston began regulating so-called transportation network companies, questions persist about safety assurances from Uber, the city’s sole entrant in the field. Uber is testing local […]

San Antonio implements Vision Zero

Good for them. Tuesday marked the official launch of San Antonio’s Vision Zero, a multi-national awareness and educational initiative that calls for zero traffic fatalities. It’s a lofty goal, but proponents of the plan say these deaths, especially those of pedestrians, are preventable accidents that can be systematically addressed with infrastructure and safety education. Last […]

Rep. Susan King not running for re-election

Though she may run for Senate instead. State Rep. Susan King has decided against seeking re-election as she considers a run for the Texas Senate, the Abilene Republican announced Tuesday. King said she would announce by the end of the month whether to launch a bid for Senate District 24, where Troy Fraser is stepping […]

Lone Star Rail updates

From last week, San Antonio City Council gets set to make a financial commitment to the Lone Star Rail line. San Antonio is expected to make its first financial commitment to building the Lone Star Rail line next week when city council members vote for a budget that includes $500,000 for the project. […] San […]

The local minimum wage fight

Not quite on the radar here, but it could be. After years of failed proposals in the Texas Legislature to raise the minimum wage, organizers and advocates for higher hourly wages are going local. Leaders in two major Texas cities and two large counties will vote soon on raising minimum wages for public employees and, […]

Churches and recall elections

This ought to be interesting. Are Texas churches prohibited from campaigning to recall politicians? The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals [weighed] that question Thursday in a case set to clarify if and how a church as a corporate entity can influence the political process of ousting a sitting elected official. A San Antonio congregation, […]

SA Council approves new rules to allow Lyft to return

Close vote, but it counts. The ride-hailing firm Lyft will soon re-start operations in San Antonio in the wake of a controversial City Council decision Thursday that will allow the company to offer rides here during a nine-month pilot program. The council spent more than three hours listening to public comment and debating among themselves […]

Lone Star Rail District to ask SA Council for funding

Not so much for now, but over time there will be real money spent. Officials with Lone Star Rail District (LSRD) have asked City Council to allocate up to $500,000 in the city’s 2016 fiscal year budget to help fund staffing and consulting services in anticipation of the $2-3 billion passenger rail project. Lone Star […]

Farias resigns from HD118

Guess what, San Antonio? You get to have another special election! State Rep. Joe Farias, D-San Antonio, submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday, officially ending a decade-long career as a state lawmaker and prompting the need for a special election to fill his House District 118 seat. Farias had already […]

Lyft to come back to San Antonio

San Antonio is no longer without any rideshare companies. The ride-hailing company Lyft is poised to return in the “near future” to San Antonio — after the City Council reviews a proposed pilot program next week. Councilman Roberto Treviño, who spent the summer negotiating a deal with the company, said Friday that Lyft officials have […]

Lone Star Rail faces Council vote in San Antonio

It’s a big step. While there is little opposition to the idea of a commuter rail line (the LSTAR) between San Antonio and Austin, the City takes serious pause when confronted with the yearly costs of operation and maintenance. But there are no tax or fee increases on the table, [Lone Star Rail District Director […]

Deja vu all over again in San Antonio

Are you ready for some more municipal wrangling over Uber and Lyft? Of course you are. A post-election push to craft city policies to allow ride-hailing firms Uber and Lyft to operate in San Antonio has also prompted the taxi industry lobby to strengthen its efforts to shoot down whatever is ultimately proposed. Since Mayor […]

San Antonio wants a do-over on Uber and Lyft

Maybe the third time will be the charm. Mayor Ivy Taylor said Friday that there’s a demand for transportation-network companies in San Antonio and signaled that she wants to work a new deal that would allow Uber and Lyft to restart operations here. Taylor told the City Council during an all-day retreat that she has […]

HISD Board President backs changing Confederate school names

Fine by me. Amid a growing move to shed symbols of the old, slave-owning South, the Houston school board president said Thursday that she supports renaming six campuses named after Confederate loyalists. Rhonda Skillern-Jones said she plans to discuss the issue with her fellow trustees at an upcoming meeting. Superintendent Terry Grier added that he […]

Taylor wins SA Mayor runoff

And it’s over. Interim San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor claimed victory Saturday night, defeating Leticia Van de Putte for a full term in the mayor’s job and dealing the former state senator a tough loss in a city central to her long career in public service. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Taylor beat Van […]

Runoff day in SA

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I’m glad the San Antonio Mayoral runoff is almost over. We hope, anyway. After weeks of bruising attacks — and at least one hand left unshaken — the San Antonio mayoral race is coming to a close. Presumably. “It might not end on […]

The Trib on the big Mayor’s races

Those being the Houston and San Antonio Mayors races, with a look at how candidates of color are faring. If former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte wins the runoff for San Antonio mayor next weekend, she’ll become the Alamo City’s first Hispanic female mayor, though not the first Hispanic, nor the first female. If […]