SAN ANTONIO – Uber is back, folks.
Uber, The San Francisco-based ride-hailing firm that matches riders and driver through a smartphone application has signed an operating agreement with the city of San Antonio. The service became available shortly after 3:30 p.m. today.
“Uber is excited to announce that we are returning to the streets of San Antonio. Thousands of drivers will be able to earn money in their own neighborhoods again,” Uber spokeswoman Debbee Hancock told the Express-News. “Tens of thousands of rider swill now have a safe alternative to drinking and driving with just the tap of a button. We ae thankful for Mayor Taylor’s leadership and efforts to bring back Uber San Antonio.”
Uber and Lyft ceased operation in San Antonio on April 1. An ordinance took effect that required drivers for the ride-share companies to undergo a city-conducted fingerprint-based background check. Uber and Lyft said their third party background checks based on Social Security numbers were more effective.
In August, the City Council in San Antonio developed a deal with Lyft for a nine-month pilot program that provided driver choices regarding background checks. Drivers are required to pass the company’s background checks before starting, but could also volunteer to undergo the city’s background checks. Drivers who do so could then indicate on their driver applications that they’ve gone through the process.
Despite the August approval, Lyft has yet to identify a start date for its pilot program.
Uber has also agreed to the same operating agreement. They are ready to go and will beat Lyft to restarting.
While Lyft left the San Antonio area completely on April 1, Uber remained and continued serving suburban cities and unincorporated Bexar County.
At the conclusion of the pilot background check program, The City Council is expect to revisit the ride-hailing companies and adopt permanent regulations for the technology.