One of Austin's top ride-sharing services has bit the dust. Fare pulled out of Austin, citing "loss of business," presumably as a result of Uber and Lyft's return.
"Thank you for opening your beautiful city to us these last 12 months. We cannot fully express how much we appreciate you choosing Fare and all your support. Sadly, the time has come to say goodbye. Unfortunately we are unable to endure the recent loss of business," reads an email sent to Fare users June 6.
Fare was one of many ride-sharing services that rolled into Austin following Proposition 1 and Uber and Lyft's exit last spring. Fare, along with Fasten and the homegrown RideAustin, quickly became the top three services in town, thanks to affordable fees and solid earnings for drivers.
Uber and Lyft returned to Austin on May 29 after Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 100 into law. The legislation overturned a City of Austin ordinance that mandates fingerprint background checks for ride-hailing drivers.
The resurgence of the two tech giants is affecting the entire ride-sharing landscape, including RideAustin, the nonprofit that was founded by high-profile Austinites as a direct response to Uber and Lyft's departure.
"With the corporate ride-share giants back in town and typical summer slowdown, we have seen a 36 percent decline in our ride volume this week in relation to last week. We've had Austin's back — and now we need your help to keep our local nonprofit alive," RideAustin stated in an email users last week. "You have a choice in how you ride, and whether your money stays right here in Austin — or goes to Silicon Valley billionaires."
The loss of Fare is a loss for local business. The company transferred its headquarters to Austin from Scottsdale, Arizona, after the Capital City became the focus of operations.