AUSTIN – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 100 into law Monday morning, welcoming Lyft back to Houston.
The bill removes the fingerprinting requirement for ride-hailing companies.
Lyft stopped operating in Houston and Austin more than a year ago, after a bill was passed to require fingerprinting as part of background checks for drivers.
The new statewide law requires annual background checks, but not fingerprinting.
With house bill 100 now signed, which essentially takes the power away from cities to regulate ride-sharing companies, the return of Lyft to Houston is right around the corner.
Lyft released the following statement:
“We can confirm that we will be resuming operations in Houston at 2 p.m. this Wednesday. We have been working to recruit and onboard drivers in preparation for launch. I'll have additional details to share as the launch gets closer.”
“If you see it as a competitor, that might be better because it might bring prices down which is always better for the customer,” Uber user Jose Juarez said.
The house bill puts an end to the more extensive background checks for drivers in cities like Houston and Austin.
"It's so disappointing that we gather today in a city that rejected and jettisoned that very freedom from the customers who wanted to have a choice about which transportation provider they could choose," Abbott said.
But opponents said the new law could jeopardize safety.
Mayor Sylvester Turner recently releasing a statement:
"Starting Monday, I can no longer guarantee that your driver has passed a background check that includes all 50 states and the FBI's national criminal database."