Arcade City owner hasn’t been cited, but Austin’s not giving up


City officials said Monday they are still trying to reach the man in charge of Arcade City, a Facebook group that has been helping drivers and riders find each other since Uber and Lyft left town.

The details of any meeting are still being worked out, said Marissa Monroy, an Austin Transportation Department spokeswoman.

Last month the city started issuing fines and seizing cars of drivers with Arcade City, and on Friday the department attempted to ticket Arcade City founder Christopher David for operating a ride-hailing service without obtaining a city license.

The citation is a Class C misdemeanor, which potentially carries a $500 fine. The citation has not yet been issued, Monroy added.

David argues his company, which will soon launch a phone-based application, is too decentralized to be considered a ride-hailing service. “We’re structured like Craigslist,” he told the American-Statesman last month.

“We’re excited to be in Austin,” David said Monday. “My hope is that the city will want to work with us once we can just explain a little bit more about where we’re coming from.”

The department’s attempt to ticket David on Friday was widely mocked on social media by the city’s tech community.

Transportation officials and officers from the Austin Police Department showed up at Capital Factory, a shared office space downtown that Arcade City has used, looking for David, who was reportedly out of the country. Video of the officers was widely shared, workers tweeted there were up to 10 officers involved and claimed they were looking to “arrest” David.

The Austin Transportation Department disputed the claim, saying there were only four police officers involved, there was no search or raid of the building and that no one was ever going to be arrested.

“There were no 10 officers, there was no raid,” Monroy added.


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