Uber and Lyft announced this week that they would be temporarily suspending their transportation services in Austin, Texas, forcing the city’s almost 900,000 residents to go into their garages and dust off their old, single speed tandem bicycles.
“We had a really good thing going for a while, ya know?” said Robbie Merdoh, owner of Juice!Juice!Jave!Java!, a local juicery and coffee shop. “Riding my dad’s rusted tandem bicycle to the weekly screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show I go to at the Alamo Draft House takes a really, really long time. And I always have to find at least 3 other people to fill the extra seats on the bike!”
The city is trying to come up with other services to offset the tech giant’s absence, even launching a new app called Tabuber, which is uber for tandem bikes. But the people of Texas’ 4th largest city are really feeling the heat. Enrollment in recreational glass blowing glasses is reportedly down almost 80% since Uber’s departure.
“This is all happening at a really bad time,” Merdoh said. “The Austin Reggae Festival is next weekend. It’s 20 minutes outside of the city center, so we’re all going to have to really plan accordingly if we want to our favorite Bob Marley cover bands.”