This is what happens when intrusive laws are passed as solutions in search of a problem. What problem did the Austin municipal government have that they wanted to subject drivers to more onerous background checks (that require the Austin government)?
The fact of the matter is that things are worse since Uber and Lyft pulled out and I highly doubt that the drivers and riders will be able to cobble together a better system by themselves without the resources of an extraordinarily well funded tech firm.
Time and again, we’ve seen examples where a local government tries to wring every bit of power and money out of companies and people trying to make an honest buck, and then when people vote with their feet, they’re left in the lurch. At least this is just ridesharing as opposed to a factory or research center that directly employs thousands and indirectly employs thousands more.