How To Get A Ride In Austin As Of May 2016
Austin feels like it was just hurled into the dark ages last week as Uber and Lyft pulled out in response to new city rules and the failure of Prop 1. It has always been a struggle to get around Austin from 24/7 rush hour on I35 to a useless rail system and cabs that refuse to take your fare, but Austin is now the 11th largest city in America. About 157 new people move to Austin every day and we have not been without those ridesharing apps in over a year. It’s a whole new world out there without a place to park or way to leave happy hour safely. We are all fighting the long fight to solve Austin’s transportation shortcomings, but what are you supposed to do this weekend?
Let’s be clear. We are struggling as a city and none of the current options fully fill the void left by Uber and Lyft, but you need something to try right now to avoid being stranded, so I will be updating this list as new choices come in to help you get familiar with your options.
Several new phone apps are swooping in to try and fill the void left by Uber and Lyft looking to promise some of the same convenience. Many are struggling to get drivers fast enough to fill the space, particularly with the very time-consuming laws that caused Uber and Lyft to leave in the first place.
Get Me hopes to be a combination of Favor and Uber offering to get you something or get you somewhere. The ride costs signifigantly more than Uber or Lyft, sometimes 3 or 4x the price and many users have waited hours for their ride as the new app is overwhelmed by demand. You can select your vehicle and the app even stated on their website that you could go on the back of a motorcycle if there is room.
Fasten’s motto is ‘riders pay less, drivers make more’. They charge only based on mileage and seem to be one of the cheapest options out there. Fasten is hurrying to get fully operational in Austin and I expect it to outgrow getme quickly because of it’s competitive pricing.
Fare is just came online and at the moment looks like the best bet for Austin riders. Technically, the new city rules do not go into effect just yet and fare has 700+ drivers based on the current system who will need to go through additional steps to stay in the game long term.
Old Timey Transport
If you’re looking to go a short distance downtown and hate new technology like ‘engines’ you have a couple of choices.
To get a pedicab, you have to be in the right place going somewhere close. Just flag someone down and hop in. You can pay what you want but try and remmeber that your ride is powered by a human body so you should tip well.
Horse Drawn Carriage
You can book a carriage ride to take you around. If you’re in the right place you may be able to flag one down or you could turn your commute into a tour. These rides are typically around $60.00 and you can book in advance here: http://austincarriage.com
Many Austinites are just looking for ways to find a new friend with a car to get them from point A to point B. Just as many are missing their income from Lyft and Uber and need new fares, so how are these people supposed to connect? Social Media of course! Granted this strips out pretty much every reliable security measure and forces you to give a stranger your full contact information but think of it as a modern day hitchhiking situation.
The most popular solution to find a ride right now is the ‘Arcade City Austin’ facebook group. Ex-Uber/Lyft drivers post a screenshot of their profile from those apps including ratings and you can use facebook to exchange phone numbers and money for a ride. You can join the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ArcadeCityAustin/
Drivers and riders alike are trying Craigslist ads to get rides, particularly for longer trips that are planned in advance. Overall, Craigslist is a pretty sketchy place,but then again so is the inside of a jail cell when you get a DUI. I have not heard of many Austinites depending on craigslist to get around successfully for short or last minute rides. You can check out Craigslist ridesharing ads here: https://austin.craigslist.org/search/rid
What Austinites Are Saying
Tried to use Fare last night. I scheduled a ride, but it glitched out and never showed up. Later, my driver texted me to confirm my ride for tonight!? Still showed up on my schedule for last night, though. Yikes! I’ll give it another shot when the kinks get worked out. May 22, 2016
I can’t even get my password reset on the yellow cab app so I can try to use it. I had a buddy get $250 in “deposit” charges and still no ride from get me. May 22, 2016
fare was dead last night. A buddy who was Dd had to do three trips to get people around town. Sigh. May 21, 2016
Wanted to try Fare tonight and encountered some glitchiness in the app that prevented me from completing my sign up 😫 I really want to try it, hope I can soon! May 21, 2016
I took the bus DT last Friday night and it was full of first timers. May 21, 2016
I’ve had good luck with Arcade city so far. May 21, 2016
GetMe kind of sucks but it works. May 21, 2016
fare just got activated and it actually kind of works. It’s not the same, but it’s not awful. — get me was not a real substitute — worst case drop that uber pin in rolling wood and call the driver. They start the trip in rolling wood but it’s still way cheaper than a cab. May 21, 2016
I haven’t felt comfortable enough with the new services to try them yet. I’ve just been pre-arranging and paying friends who were drivers cash, or driving myself & not drinking. May 21, 2016
Tried GetMe and after them dropping requests for cars, I do not trust them. Just downloaded Fare & will be giving that a go. May 21, 2016
Happy Riding, Friends. Stay Safe Out There.
Have you been able to get a ride in Austin? Leave me a comment about your experiences!