June 8, 2016      5:14 PM
House committee splits along party lines on question of gig economy: App or employer?
Issue of who is defined as an independent subcontractor and who is an employee promises to be a strong point of contention during session
to Uber and Lyft had no problem twisting the knife at the Capitol on the popular
rideshare companies Wednesday morning, recognizing a clear competitive edge
when it presented itself.
companies have joined the fray with the departure of Uber and Lyft from Austin after
a hotly contested and nationally watched election on fingerprint background
checks. Many, like GetMe CEO Michael Gaubert,
were cooperative, and even eager, to meet Austin’s requirements. Gaubert insisted GetMe, touted by
Council members as a suitable substitute for Uber and Lyft, is in it
for the long haul and “not going anywhere.”
been onboarding drivers, increasingly. Our downloads have skyrocketed. The use
of the app is at an all-time high,” Gaubert told the House
Business & Industry Committee. “We’ve been working diligently to
address the city’s concerns, and we think our riders have found a good
experience and a good substitute.”
good measure, Gaubert sat in the front row with
former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin,
sometimes posing for photos. Gaubert referred to
Irvin as his good friend and fellow investor.
GetMe’s performance is as sunny as Gaubert claims is as big a mystery as how incident-free
Uber and Lyft’s service has been in Austin and other cities. As privately held
companies, Uber, Lyft, GetMe and others are able to
project a sunny outlook – more so than if they were publicly traded, anyway.
By Kimberly Reeves