— Mayor Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) March 28, 2014
By LAURA LOREK
Founder Silicon Hills News
Last week, Police Chief William McManus held a press conference announcing that Lyft drivers would be arrested and issued the company a cease and desist order, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Next, Mayor Julian Castro announced that the city should work with Lyft and other innovative startups looking to operate in San Antonio.
“We can make Lyft, Uber and similar services work in San Antonio,” Castro wrote in a post on Facebook. “They need to meet strong standards for safety and quality (insurance, driver background checks, etc.), but they should be part of the equation. Figuring that out will take some time, but we’ll get it done. San Antonio is moving forward, not standing still.”
And on Friday, another ride sharing service, Uber, launched.
“San Antonio, The road to get here has been long, and while we’re still working to break the mold of traditional ways of thinking, we’re proud and pumped to be launching in Alamo City,” according to a blog post. “As you may already know, we’re big fans of bringing innovative and efficient transportation options to the world and are thrilled that San Antonio now gets to embrace and enjoy the Uber lifestyle.”
Uber and Lyft are not available in Austin, which has banned ride sharing services. HeyRide launched in 2012 there and was shut down by the city and then acquired by Sidecar, another ride sharing app.
The taxi industry opposes the ride sharing apps because they say that they are not safe and that they do not do background checks on their drivers. But both Lyft and Uber state that they do background checks on their drivers.
But Lyft and Uber operate in dozens of cities around the country. They have been embraced by the collaborative community that sees ridesharing as a natural evolution of the transportation industry.