During SXSW, there was a brief outage of service from both Fasten and RideAustin. If those names don’t sound familiar to you, it’s because you don’t live in Austin—you are presumably more familiar with the ride-hailing services provided from major international players like Uber and Lyft. In May 2016, when a local ordinance that would have repealed the city’s regulations on those kinds of services—backed by the two titans of the app-based ride-hailing industry—failed at the ballot box, and Uber and Lyft quickly left town.
Since then, Austin has more or less recovered. Off-brand companies like Fasten, Fare, Wingz, GetMe, and InstaRyde, as well as the non-profit RideAustin, popped up and quickly developed a pecking order. Fasten and RideAustin are at the top, offering tens of thousands of rides a week, while the others provide services in a more limited capacity.