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Fasten couldn’t handle SXSW massive crowds

Fasten is the official ridesharing app of SXSW 2017. Where’s Uber and Lyft you might ask? The two ridesharing powerhouses left Austin because they lost a vote on background checking drivers. As a protest, they decided to pull out of the ideal city for the two companies. Last SXSW the two companies were operating during the festival, but this year Fasten and new small startups are filling the void.

Last night transpired without any working ridesharing services. There weren’t enough taxis to accommodate the influx of people in Austin. The general reaction was to blame Uber and Lyft for pulling out prematurely.

Uber and Lyft have scale and offer reliability unlike Fasten

In 2017 it’s not common to see a website have downtime or to see hiccups from an influx of users. What we forget is Twitter often had server issues, we’d see the fail whale fairly often in the early days. Nowadays, we have AWS which offers the ability to scale up for an influx of users or scale down when the app or site is doing unused.

RideAustin CEO Andy Tryba wrote an update on Facebook about what caused the outage, which was “a previously undiscovered database issue that did not emerge during our scale testing.” The outage was embarrassing for the startup, but also left hundreds if not thousands out in the rain and cold waiting for taxis. The problem also highlights how far Uber and Lyft have come since first starting out.

Tell us your thoughts about Uber and Lyft leaving customers out in the rain and cold during SXSW. Should they work with the local cities to do background checks, or do you think what they offer is enough?