In what may be the most divisive vote Austin has ever seen, Prop 1 was struck down over the weekend as voters chose to not allow Lyft and Uber to write their own rules when it came to their ridesharing operations. The tide quickly turned against the ride-sharing companies as more and more of their tactics became exposed, including spending more than $8 million on their campaign. More than anything, however, people just got tired of the incessant emails, texts, paper mailers, and canvassers showing up at their doors. Their overzealousness seemed to factor heavily into many people’s decisions about how to vote. Instead of being so heavy-handed in their attempts, maybe the two companies should’ve tried a more Austin-centric approach and made voters fall in love with them instead of alienating them. Here are just a few ideas of how they could have campaigned:
Two Words: Taco. Taxi.
Austinites will never turn down free tacos, making them part of their service would definitely have gone a long way in pleasing the masses. They could’ve had Pueblo Viejo make a ton of tacos, drivers pick them up and keep them in a cooler, and riders receive a free taco at the end of the ride. A tortilla full of goodness and a smile. What better way to arrive at a destination?
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Side note: UberEats will continue to operate in Austin, as those deliver without the need for fingerprinting, according to Fortune. We’ll see how long that lasts, though, as Favor is a homegrown company that has yet to upset its customers (other than making us look at those awful bow tie shirts).
Why No Celebrity Drivers? (Or Did We Miss Something?)
Lyft actually hired Danica Patrick to go undercover in Charlotte so they could make cute promo videos. Why can’t they get Elijah Wood to give me a ride to the Highball? Or Willie Nelson to take me over to The Liberty. Oh wait, probably don’t want Willie driving anywhere…
They obviously threw some money at getting celebrities involved as Taylor Kitsch recently spent the day at UT promoting Prop 1 and taking photos with his swooning fans.
#Repost @madlinbmek Taylor Kitsch meeting with students at @UTAustin, part of @ridesharingatx campaign for #Prop1 https://t.co/2PKKTmc1h1 #twitter #taylorkitsch #taylorkitschworld #austintx #university #texasforever #TimRiggins #fridaynightlights #cleareyesfullheartscantlose #marizzalexandre #katekitsch #jesskitsch #bilasitikiko
They Couldda Specialized In Austin Art Car Rides
Austin loves its weirdo art cars, and who wouldn’t smile seeing a giant explosion of colors and tchotchkes coming towards them? OK, maybe it might be a little scary, but it would certainly be a memorable ride.
Who Wouldn’t Like Playing A Local Version Of Cash Cab?
Judging by the turnout at Geeks Who Drink’s nearly nightly trivia sessions around town, Austin loves to answer random pop culture questions. Just turn a couple of larger vehicles into rolling game shows, and you’re good to go. The chance of winning a couple hundred bucks will always put people in a good mood.