The Edge: June 20, 2016

This week: Learn what happened when Donald Trump came to town, and how small businesses are hurt when unregulated ride-hailing competitors Uber and Lyft arrive.

Trump in San Antonio

Donald Trump came to San Antonio for a fundraiser June 17, and a crowd of about 400 protesters took to the streets to comment on the candidate. The event was full of passion but also peaceful. Click here for video from the protest >>

Meanwhile, inside a fundraiser at the Oak Hills Country Club, one of the hosts, IBC Bank CEO Dennis Nixon, co-chair of the Trump Victory Fund, had some blunt words for Trump on immigration and trade when he introduced the presidential candidate.

Nixon, a prominent Republican who has long opposed a border wall, reminded Trump that the federal government spends more on border security than all other federal law enforcement combined. According to the Texas Tribune’s account of the event, Trump seemed like he was listening. “He worked on that,” Trump said, approvingly of Nixon’s speech as he took the stage. Click here for the full story >>

Taxis, Uber and Lyft

We recently had a conversation with Carol Mendoza-Fisher about the impact on small businesses like her father’s taxi cab company when unregulated competitors Uber and Lyft move in.

Her father was one of the first minority small businesses to receive a San Antonio cab license in 1979, but now he and his 16 drivers are struggling. That’s in large part because they must follow the city’s rules that Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) are free to ignore. 

For instance, to ensure that drivers can make a living, city regulations set a minimum fare cabs must charge. Those same regulations protect cab customers by capping cab fares to prevent price gouging. Mendoza-Fisher said the cheap rides currently offered by Uber and Lyft come at a human cost. Click here for the full story >>

Mapping Transportation Network Companies (TNCs)

As they reviewed Uber, Lyft and Come Get Me's track record to date, San Antonio City Council members saw maps of where the Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) have the most pickups and dropoffs. The best served Zip Code is 78249, home to the University of Texas at San Antonio campus, which has more than 28,000 students.

City regulations require cabs to show they cover all parts of the city, regardless of income. No such requirement exists for TNCs. The maps show areas on the West Side, South Side and East Side that received little to no service from the ride-hailing apps.

Take another look and see how the heaviest TNC traffic areas correlate with a map of household income in San Antonio. Click here to see the maps and learn more >>