With the recent exit of Uber and Lyft after Prop 1, getting around town has been a little more difficult. These seven companies have promised to comply with the regulations laid out by the City of Austin and hope to fill the void for Austinites in need of a ride and those in need of a job.
Fare was originally slated to go live in Austin later this summer, but it bumped up the launch date post-Prop 1. This ride-sharing service is available around town, and was approved to operate at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport this week. You can schedule a standard, large, or premium car for pickup or request one on demand. There is a $5 to $15 minimum fee, depending on the vehicle size.
As a driver you receive 80 percent of your fares and all of the tips. The app also makes it easier to build up a client base, as riders can select you as a preferred driver.
This Boston-based service was just approved as a Transportation Network Company (TNC) by the City of Austin, and it began operations earlier this week. Fasten assures users that there is no minimum fare and no surge pricing; you pay per minute and per mile on top of a small base fee, depending on the size of the vehicle requested.
Fasten calculates that drivers make about $1,505 for every 100 rides. The company also offers weekly direct deposit.
This Dallas-based startup launched in Austin last fall as a mix between Favor and Uber. Users can request anything they want in the greater Austin area, whether it's a delivery or a ride. Rates reflect time of day and distance and are outlined by zones centered around your location. The charge for a delivery or ride might be a little higher than competitors', but the company promises no hidden fees or surge pricing, and more money goes into drivers' pockets.
Get Me has beefed up the ride-sharing aspect in the past few weeks. Although there have been a few glitches with the app and driver onboarding process, the team is confident in meeting demands now. A Go Getter driving job with Get Me is above minimum wage and boasts insurance coverage.
InstaRyde is a Canada-based service whose first city in the U.S. is Austin. InstaRyde is currently in soft launch mode (awaiting approval as a TNC), so there aren't as many available drivers as other companies. Minimum fares range from $2 to $5 depending on the number of passengers, but the mileage and time pricing is similar to lower-cost services like Uber and Lyft. There's also no surge pricing.
Thinking about becoming a driver? InstaRyde takes 17.5 percent of the fare — you keep the rest.
RideAustin is a nonprofit helmed by a few high-profile Austinites as a direct response to Uber and Lyft's departure. The RideAustin app for iPhones is live now, but the service won't be ready until late June and an Android version will launch in August. Once live, the charity portion of RideAustin allows users to round up their fare to the next dollar and donate that amount to an organization of their choice.
Those interested in driving for RideAustin can apply through the iPhone app and complete registration at Crown Plaza Hotel; RideAustin will cover the $40 fingerprinting fee.
Like Fare, Wingz is a service that specializes in rides to and from the airport. However, unlike Fare, the company is also working with a new concept called WingzAround, which provides rides around Austin. It should be noted that WingzAround is not an on-demand service — the company asks that you book your ride at least two hours in advance, and there is a $15 minimum.
Drivers receive 88 percent of their fare after fees (95 percent if a user books them directly) and 100 percent of tips.
zTrip is unique in that it allows you to snag a ride with a car or taxi. Once you set your pickup location, time, and destination, you will be quoted a flat rate. The company offers on-demand and scheduled rides in the greater Austin area.
If you choose to drive with zTrip, insurance and maintenance are covered, you get to keep all of your fares, and set your own hours.
Bonus: Ride Finder.io
With so many ride-hailing apps to choose from, a new Austin service has emerged that streamlines it all. Ride Finder.io helps keep track of all the ride-sharing services available in the city. The website allows you to put in your starting and ending address, which then estimates your fare across all ride-hailing platforms.
Ride Finder.io currently provides estimates for Fare, Fasten, Get Me, and Wingz but says it will add additional ride-sharing companies as they are announced.