The Phoenix based ride-hailing service Fare announced Tuesday morning it had pulled out of Austin, blaming the “loss of business” after the return of Uber and Lyft to the city.
“Sadly, the time has come for us to say goodbye,” the company said in an email sent to Austin-area customers. “Unfortunately, we are unable to endure the recent loss of business.”
The shutdown apparently occurred around midnight with little warning.
Fare was one of a half-dozen ride-hailing services that came to Austin over the last year, following a failed $10 million campaign by Uber and Lyft to overturn the city’s fingerprinting requirements for drivers through a May 2016 referendum and the two companies’ subsequent decision to leave.
However, the two ride-hailing giants came back to Austin a year later after they extensively lobbied the Texas Legislature to dismantle the city’s regulations.
Gov. Abbott signed legislation that made ride-hailing regulations a state affair. The move immediately rendered Austin’s ride-hailing rules inoperative, paving the way for Uber and Lyft to resume operating in Austin.
The return of Uber and Lyft has put new financial strains on their upstart competition.
While most ride-hailing companies only share the vaguest of statistics, nonprofit Rideshare Austin — launched by the Austin tech community in the aftermath of the 2016 referendum and the exit of Uber and Lyft — has reported that its ridership fell 36 percent in the wake of Uber and Lyft’s return.