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Explaining Exactly What a 'Yes' and 'No' Vote on Prop 1 Means

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT
Austin voters will decide the fate of ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft on May 7.

We've noticed that many readers are checking out this post ahead of the November election. This post deals with the Proposition 1 that was on the ballot in May 2016. If you're looking for information about Proposition 1 on the November 2016 ballot in Austin, which is a transportation bond measure, go here

Austin voters will head to the polls on Saturday, May 7 to vote for or against Proposition 1. How did we get here? In December, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance that, over time, requires Uber and Lyft drivers to undergo fingerprint-based background checks, among other things. The companies have said they cannot operate under these mandates.

So in January, an Uber- and Lyft-funded political action committee submitted a petition with more than 20,000 signatures – prompting regulations wanted by the company to go to a public vote. Proposition 1 is a referendum on those rules written by Uber and Lyft.

While many of the regulations in both ordinances (the city’s and the PAC’s) overlap, there are some major distinctions.

Having fielded some confusion from friends, neighbors, siblings, listeners and former roommates about what a "yes" or a "no" vote on Prop 1 means, we’ve broken it down for you – in the form of a Q&A with KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and a side-by-side breakdown of the issues.

If that doesn’t satiate your need for Prop 1 knowledge, you can view both ordinances in their entirety at the bottom of this post. 

Background Checks

Trade Dress

Drop-Off and Pick-Up

Annual Transportation Fees

If you vote for the ordinance, you're voting in support of these proposed regulations:

If you vote against the ordinance, you're voting in support of these regulations, which were passed in December:

Audrey McGlinchy is KUT's housing reporter. She focuses on affordable housing solutions, renters’ rights and the battles over zoning. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @AKMcGlinchy.
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