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Inside The Ridesharing Black Market of Austin, Texas

Uber v. Austin, Texas

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The Uber Mafia has infiltrated Austin. Let me start from the beginning: Austin, Texas recently got a facelyft; cosmetically and vehically. The city known for its live music and breakfast burritos gave the middle finger to ridesharing giants Uber and Lyft when it decided to write a Declaration of Independence against them that stated, "All ridesharing services must now equip all employees’ cars with disco lights and a celebrity host. Please do not compare this to Cash Cab." Outraged, the taxicab competitors immediately poured $9,000,000,000 into a money-gun (thank you, open-carry) and started aiming for revenge. After the political shoot-out between the bat city and the business of people who pick up strangers on the street in exchange for money, the latter was forced to leave, taking business elsewhere and leaving more than a million people dependent and itching for a service they didn’t even have a couple years ago. The citizens of the Michael Dell city immediately erupted with middle-school-intelligence-level debates, arguing the best way they knew how: on the popular social networking platform facebook.com. “I didn’t vote, but I forgot how to walk and now I can’t get to the supermarket to buy milk for my children!” said one distressed mother of two who has been using Uber exclusively since she heard about the service and how easy it is to use different credit cards in order to get free rides. A university student who frequents sixth street but swears he isn’t an alcoholic text messaged us, “I lvoed lytf and now I catn get heom wehn im drukn becuz im not wiling 2 pay a cpoule $ more 4 a taxi.” Sad.

 

But there’s still hope for the community of Austin, Texas. An anarchist ridesharing service has opened its doors in the form of an underground, anti-establishment service called “Arcade City.” Only available through the Deep Web, Arcade City can be reached when one accesses the Black Market via Tor. Once connected to the illegal part of the Internet, you are able to request a ride by simply posting your legal name, coordinates, and credit card number (for the transaction). Within minutes someone you don’t know will arrive and you will be able to get into their vehicle alone. Just like Uber!

 

However, not everyone is comfortable with an illegal automobile revolution rising up in Austin, Texas. “Illegal ridesharing is destroying the community of this great city,” commented Mayor Adler, who prefers to ride in his town limousine anyway. An actual human being asked, “What’s next? Mexican Uber drivers?” before showing us her American Flag tattoo and talking an uncomfortable amount of time about her grandfather being in the war. Some people had already experienced what they deem the negative side effects of a ridesharing Black Market making its way into the beautiful city that uses graffiti to attract tourists: “My daughter saw a Black man with license plates that said ‘Tijuana’ picking up another person in front of the community center. She shouldn’t have to see something like that so young,” one mother said while crying into her 44-oz Diet Coke™.

 

Regardless of the political outcomes; regardless of the implications of the Deep Web on communities; and regardless of whether Austin can keep itself weird or not, the city is now a focal point for the distribution of illegal ridesharing services. We’ll leave you with this quote from Senator Withers: “They know it’s illegal and they still bring it here, in all forms. They know the laws and the consequences, but there’s just so much money and a big market for it. Law enforcement and the government have still yet to figure out how to exactly address the situation.”

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