SXSW Attendees Troubled by Austin's Lack of Uber

What happens when SXSW stops being polite, and starts getting real?
March 20, 2017, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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There was plenty of sharing going in Austin at this year's SXSW, if anyone cared to notice.
robert cicchetti

One of the big news stories to emerge from this year's SXSW in Austin was the outcry over the city's lack of transportation network companies. The city famously banned transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft from operating in the city in May 2016, and created apps like Fasten and RideAustin instead.

Last week, the chickens came home to roost, so to speak, as the tech, arts, and culture world descended on the Texas state capital for the first time since that momentous decision. Jen Kinney surveys the reaction of the SXSW crowd to the loss of convenience they encountered in Austin as a result of the TNC ban, as well as the chorus of criticisms about the unreliable functionality of the remaining trnaportation apps.

The appalled and outraged — pegged to be, by more than one publication, “tech bros” — accused the upstart apps of not doing proper testing, but they saved their greatest ire for the city of Austin itself, partly for not backing down on its regulation demands.

TechCrunch, Slate, and plenty of self-proclaimed "thought leaders" took to the Internet to discuss the state of Austin's transportation technology. Kinney provides links and context to get a good grasp on the ensuing controversies. 

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Published on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 in Next City
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