What the Smart City Challenge Means for Austin Now and Long-Term

The AYC community is making our presence known in the greater Austin community. It is an honor and privilege to be a representative of AYC in so many diverse conversations and represent our members in planning for the long-term success of our city.

One of those opportunities is the Department of Transit’s Smart City Challenge. 

Right now, Mayor Steve Adler and a delegation from the city’s transportation department are up in Washington, DC in pursuit of the DOT’s Smart City Challenge, the $50 million competition to drive the future of transportation, if you’ll pardon the pun. The Smart City Challenge offers one lucky city the chance to be for the future of transportation what Detroit is for making cars, Los Angeles is for the film industry and Nashville is to country music. Good-paying jobs, broader opportunity, and a flood of private investment would surely come to the city that wins the Smart City Challenge, which makes what I’m about to say sound really strange.


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What’s Up With Austin’s Proposed Uber and Lyft Regulations? Why Does It Matter to Me?

Ride-hailing regulations 101: what you need to know about Austin City Council’s proposed ride-hailing regulations and how you can get involved. Uber and Lyft, which have been legally operating in Austin for about a year, may soon be subject to new regulations. The City of Austin is considering a move to require drivers with ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to undergo fingerprint-based criminal background checks. The effort to pass these new regulations has been led by Austin City Council Member Ann Kitchen (District 5), who says that the name-based background checks that Uber and Lyft currently conduct on their drivers are not sufficient.  Similar concerns have been raised in other cities across the U.S. and Texas, including Houston and San Antonio....

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