Hi Josh, hope you are doing well! :) Thanks for the response.
You mentioned that the period of U/L’s absence would be “tough”. I don’t think “tough” accurately describes the position of drivers who can no longer pay their bills or feed their family. I’m not being hyperbolic, there are many drivers who now face this reality. The absence of U/L may simply be an inconvenience for many people, but it is the livelihood of many others. It’s easy for people like you and me who are insulated by tech salaries and exits to forgot that most people live paycheck-to-paycheck. I don’t doubt that you already know this or that you meant to minimize this fact, but I think it is critical that the tech community make a special effort to empathize with those in industries that are not experiencing the same economic boom as tech.
In regard to regulation, I’ve not seen any empirical evidence that indicates that City of Austin needed to implement new regulation beyond what was already established by the previous council. It’s not as if Uber and Lyft was operating without regulation or not in compliance. To the best of my knowledge, there was no dramatic increase in driver misbehavior toward passengers to warrant more comprehensive background checks, no threat to traffic, no negative economic impact that necessitated new regulation. I’d appreciate if you, or anyone else could provide any evidence for context on their thinking.