TRANSPORTATION

Uber Annouces Plan to Leave Houston if City Keeps Existing Regulations

Uber announced Wednesday the company plans to cease operations in Houston if the city council does not repeal its existing regulations relating to vehicle-for-hire companies. Houston is one of two cities in the country where Uber has continued to operate despite a local requirement that its drivers undergo fingerprint-based background checks.

Austin-based vehicle-for-hire company Get Me LLC, which it stylizes as getme, says it will continue operating in Austin if voters reject a proposed ordinance preventing fingerprint background checks for drivers. The company claims it will be able to address the city's ride-hailing needs if Uber and Lyft leave.
Austin-based vehicle-for-hire company Get Me LLC, which it stylizes as getme, says it will continue operating in Austin if voters reject a proposed ordinance preventing fingerprint background checks for drivers. The company claims it will be able to address the city's ride-hailing needs if Uber and Lyft leave.

Company Says it Will Fill Gap if Uber, Lyft Leave Austin After Vote

Uber and Lyft have pledged to leave Austin if the city votes down an ordinance preventing fingerprint-based background checks. But a smaller Austin-based company called getme insists it can fill the gap.

President of Taxi Drivers Association of Austin, Dave Passmore, right, and board member, Nega Taddesse, left, spoke to the media about their concerns with Uber and Lyft on March 15, 2016. Alongside Passmore and Taddesse, a group of drivers gathered outside a major South by Southwest event to protest Uber’s attempt to bully the City of Austin into adopting its version of a ride-sharing ordinance.
President of Taxi Drivers Association of Austin, Dave Passmore, right, and board member, Nega Taddesse, left, spoke to the media about their concerns with Uber and Lyft on March 15, 2016. Alongside Passmore and Taddesse, a group of drivers gathered outside a major South by Southwest event to protest Uber’s attempt to bully the City of Austin into adopting its version of a ride-sharing ordinance.

Ahead of Austin Election Over Regulating Uber, Local Leaders Take Sides

With less than a month until Austin voters will be asked to decide how to regulate vehicle-for-hire companies like Uber and Lyft, advocates on both sides are amping up their campaign efforts.

Company Says it Will Fill Gap if Uber, Lyft Leave Austin After Vote

Austin-based vehicle-for-hire company Get Me LLC, which it stylizes as getme, says it will continue operating in Austin if voters reject a proposed ordinance preventing fingerprint background checks for drivers. The company claims it will be able to address the city's ride-hailing needs if Uber and Lyft leave.
Austin-based vehicle-for-hire company Get Me LLC, which it stylizes as getme, says it will continue operating in Austin if voters reject a proposed ordinance preventing fingerprint background checks for drivers. The company claims it will be able to address the city's ride-hailing needs if Uber and Lyft leave.

Uber and Lyft have pledged to leave Austin if the city votes down an ordinance preventing fingerprint-based background checks. But a smaller Austin-based company called getme insists it can fill the gap.

Ahead of Austin Election Over Regulating Uber, Local Leaders Take Sides

President of Taxi Drivers Association of Austin, Dave Passmore, right, and board member, Nega Taddesse, left, spoke to the media about their concerns with Uber and Lyft on March 15, 2016. Alongside Passmore and Taddesse, a group of drivers gathered outside a major South by Southwest event to protest Uber’s attempt to bully the City of Austin into adopting its version of a ride-sharing ordinance.
President of Taxi Drivers Association of Austin, Dave Passmore, right, and board member, Nega Taddesse, left, spoke to the media about their concerns with Uber and Lyft on March 15, 2016. Alongside Passmore and Taddesse, a group of drivers gathered outside a major South by Southwest event to protest Uber’s attempt to bully the City of Austin into adopting its version of a ride-sharing ordinance.

With less than a month until Austin voters will be asked to decide how to regulate vehicle-for-hire companies like Uber and Lyft, advocates on both sides are amping up their campaign efforts.

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Revisit Our Guide to the 2015 Texas Legislative Session

Font on Texas Highway Signs Set for Another Shift

Two sample highway signs reveal the differences between Clearview, above, which Texas began using in 2004, and the traditional highway sign font, Standard Highway Alphabet, below.
Two sample highway signs reveal the differences between Clearview, above, which Texas began using in 2004, and the traditional highway sign font, Standard Highway Alphabet, below.

The Federal Highway Administration is no longer permitting states to use an experimental font called Clearview on highway signs. Texas, one of the typeface's earliest adopters, has used it on its new highway signs since 2004.

Texas Supreme Court Asked to Weigh in on Austin's Battle with Uber

Austin Uber drivers participate in a rally against the proposal set by the Austin Transportation Department on Sept. 2, 2015.
Austin Uber drivers participate in a rally against the proposal set by the Austin Transportation Department on Sept. 2, 2015.

An Austin resident, supported by Uber, has asked the Texas Supreme Court to weigh in on the ballot language for a measure related to vehicle-for-hire companies scheduled to come before voters on May 7.

Bullet Train Opponents Reach Out to Japanese Ambassador

The Japanese Shinkansen is a high-speed trail used by JR Central in Japan. A private company is planning to build a rail line between Dallas and Houston using the same trains.
The Japanese Shinkansen is a high-speed trail used by JR Central in Japan. A private company is planning to build a rail line between Dallas and Houston using the same trains.

Thirty-three East Texas officials, including 11 from the Legislature, signed a letter to Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae opposing a private firm's proposed high-speed rail that has strong ties to a Japanese company.

North Carolina Sending Top Official to Texas Over Toll Road Bankruptcy

The U.S. 183/S.H. 130 intersection north of Lockhart near the opening of the southern portion of SH130 toll road, which runs from Georgetown to Seguin.
The U.S. 183/S.H. 130 intersection north of Lockhart near the opening of the southern portion of SH130 toll road, which runs from Georgetown to Seguin.

In the wake of a recent bankruptcy filingfrom a private company that operates a Texas toll road, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has dispatched his top transportation official to Texas as his state begins work on a similar project.

SH 130 Toll Road Operator Files for Bankruptcy

The 85 mph speed limit on a portion of the SH 130 toll road between Austin and Seguin is the highest speed limit in the nation.
The 85 mph speed limit on a portion of the SH 130 toll road between Austin and Seguin is the highest speed limit in the nation.

A private company that operates part of the Texas toll road with the highest speed limit in the country filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, fewer than three years after the section of the road it oversees first opened.

TxDOT Planning $1.3 Billion to Relieve Worst Traffic in Texas Cities

I-35 tops the 2015 list of the 100 most congested roadways in Texas compiled by the Texas A&M University Texas Transportation Institute.
I-35 tops the 2015 list of the 100 most congested roadways in Texas compiled by the Texas A&M University Texas Transportation Institute.

The Texas Transportation Commission is expected to approve a $1.3 billion plan Thursday aimed to funding 14 roadway projects designed to relieve gridlock in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.