The Austin City Council is poised to decide the future of ride-hailers Uber and Lyft Thursday in a vote that would either adopt a council-penned initiative or put the issue to referendum.

But the council has had this fight before – 100 years ago.

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In 1915, the city decided to crackdown on jitneys — unregulated service vehicles that were able to offer cheaper fares than streetcars — because some considered them a public safety liability. The council supported a regulation that would both limit the new system of proto-taxicabs and level the playing field for the city’s already-functioning transportation infrastructure.…



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