Ride-hailing company Fasten on Friday launched what it says is the industry’s first rewards program, an initiative that comes as the company and others try to stay relevant after competitors Uber and Lyft’s return to the Capitol two months ago.
Beginning Friday, Fasten riders will automatically get $5 deducted from a trip’s cost after completing 10 trips. The company is calling the program Fasten Karma.
The program “is another shot across the bow to the new competition in town,” Fasten spokesman Nate Kommers said in an email. “While they spend money to get new users, Fasten is rewarding its existing customers in a simple, transparent and automatic way.”
Based in Boston, Fasten is one in a number of companies that filled the ride-hailing void in Austin after Uber and Lyft left Austin in 2016 following a battle with city officials over an ordinance that included fingerprinting mandates for ride-hailing job seekers.
The companies returned in May after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law statewide ride-hailing rules that wiped out local ordinances. Since then, ride-hailing company Fare shut down operations in Austin, citing Uber and Lyft’s return.
While Kommers said Fasten’s ride volume figures have not fallen significantly, the company, like others, is trying to succeed despite the return of Uber and Lyft.
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