Ride-hailing company Uber is now making it easier to safely sip wine in the Hill Country.
The ride-hailing company recently introduced its service in Fredericksburg, a town at the heart of the country’s second largest grape-growing and winemaking region. The Fredericksburg area is home to more than 40 vineyards and wineries.
“Whether you are headed to work, dinner with friends, or visiting one of the many vineyards or wineries in the area, Uber offers access to an affordable and convenient way to get around town,” Trevor Theunissen, Uber’s public affairs lead in Texas, says in an announcement about the Fredericksburg launch.
Fredericksburg is an hour-and-a-half west of Austin and a little over an hour northwest of San Antonio.
Uber isn’t the only option for visitors to sample Frederickburg’s vino without fear of traveling tipsy, but it’s arguably the most prominent. A dozen wine tour and shuttle companies currently operate in the area, according to the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau. In addition, Austin-based My Ride TX provides an app that connects customers in Fredericksburg with independent drivers.
Uber says its Fredericksburg rollout was made possible after new statewide regulations paved the way for Uber and its chief rival, Lyft, to restart service in Austin. Under the law, drivers for the companies are not required to undergo fingerprint-based background checks.
The state law supersedes a City of Austin ordinance that mandated such checks for ride-hailing drivers. The ordinance triggered Uber’s and Lyft’s departure from the Austin market in May 2016. Uber and Lyft returned to the Austin market one year later after the state law was revised.