Uber Alternatives in Austin: Ride Austin and Fasten

For my next trick, I will put up a post from the city I’m currently visiting lol.

I got to Austin on Sunday, and decided to meet up with a friend for drinks downtown.

No problem, I’ll Uber down, a 15-minute ride.

Tips from my friend Jason

Tips from my friend Jason

He gave me two tips: Ride Austin and Fasten.

Ride Austin

Ride Austin is a non-profit rideshare company.

They have an iPhone and Android app. The interface looks remarkably like Uber – in fact, you might not even realize it’s not Uber after you get it installed.


Ride Austin’s Uber-like interface

Getting it set up is simple. You must enter a payment method to begin using the app. And you can connect it to your Facebook (if you wish) for one-button set-up.

I used my Citi ThankYou Premier, hoping to get 3X Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent, but I’m not sure yet how it will ultimately code. In a pending state, it looks like this:

"Professional services"

“Professional services”

To begin my first ride, I simply entered my hotel address and where I wanted to go – but you already knew that.

My driver, Tina, came within 5 minutes, and whisked me away downtown. 15 minutes later, I was there – and it was as easy as I wanted it to be: cashless, quick, simple.

Too bad for Uber

While we drove, I asked Tina about her thoughts on Uber.

And she said something to the effect of how it’s too bad they refused to go through with fingerprinting. And that now, there are other companies filling the void.

Should Uber ever try to return to Austin, they’ll have to battle home-grown companies and will likely lose.

Uber created a market, then a vacuum. And now Austinites are doin’ it for themselves. #highfive

I couldn’t agree more. People get attached to brands, especially local brands – just ask Alaska Airlines.

I enjoyed the experience from app download to arrival.

If you’re planning on visiting Austin, I highly recommend Ride Austin. You can get $20 off your first ride if you use my promo code. I get a $20 credit too – I might have to come back to Austin to use it!

Get $20 off your first ride with Ride Austin

Get $20 off your first ride with Ride Austin

My code is “j6q1gd5v” – enter it after you download in the “Promotions” section of the app to get $20 off.

Can confirm it works

Can confirm it works

Very proud for Austin. And Uber, good luck ever getting back into this market. Why any company would let Austin go is beyond me. But it’s so good to see citizens creating solutions – and quickly!


Fasten is available in Austin and Boston so far.

Again, it’s free – and you need to have a payment method to use it. I recommend it for shorter rides.

One, because it’s for-profit (Ride Austin is not-for-profit). And two, there’s a $5 promo code – “OC2992 “- and it’s best to save Ride Austin’s $20 code for a longer ride.

I won’t get into too much detail other than it works in a very similar way.

But I have to give the edge to Ride Austin for being a non-profit – and for filling the void so quickly. They are only 75 days old as of the time of this writing!

I took a short ride on Fasten too, and it was as expected. So if you need a rideshare backup, give this one a download, too.

Bottom line

Bon voyage, Uber AND Lyft – in Austin, anway.

Girl, bye

Girl, bye

If you’re coming to Austin, be sure to download Ride Austin and Fasten

  • My Ride Austin promo code gets you $20 off your first ride: “j6q1gd5v
  • And my Fasten promo code gets you $5 off: “OC2992″

I’m happy to see small, local companies filling the void of startups that couldn’t – or wouldn’t – survive the local legislation.

If you want to explore Austin, try the fantastic restaurants, or get sloppy on 6th St or Rainey St – definitely download these.

Both were tips from a friend of mine who lives here – so I thought I’d pass it on to you guys.

Thanks as always for reading, commenting, and supporting. <3 Hope this helps peeps visiting Austin in the near future!

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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    • Yeah, I doubt don’t it. This is definitely from an outsider’s/visitor’s POV – I don’t know the political machinations behind the decisions. Just calling it like I see it, meaning I noticed they exist lol.

  1. I am quite confident the movers and shakers in Austin are quietly invested in these companies – at least the “for profit” Fasten. I believe that was always the plan.

  2. appreciate the article info thanks! FYI – your promo code no longer valid but I did find a $20 credit promo through Retail-me-not

  3. Thanks for this post, Harlan. I found this when I turned to Google to make sense of the ride sharing scene in Austin. This is my first time back there since Uber and Lyft pulled out of the market, and your info was very helpful.

  4. My experience using Fasten was a bit different… I was charged over $70 for a 15 minute/ 1 mile ride to the airport on a Sunday afternoon, which is ridiculous (and way over their posted rate charges). I’ve emailed Fasten 3 times now to explain their rates and extremely high charges, but they are completely MIA and have not responded.

    To the driver’s credit, he was very nice and the car was clean.

    I’ll never be using Fasten again in Austin, but it sounds like Ride Austin is definitely worth a try.

    • I had a good experience with Fasten, but definitely recommend RideAustin instead.

      They are probably still backed up on customer service from SXSW. I would give it another week or so and then follow up. I hope it works out for you, that’s ridiculous!

      • I have tried over 100 different codes I found googeling, and zero worked like they said…. the majority were invalid but I did find 2 still giving free credit, just not as much as their ads said. The code AIRPORT is listed as $10 & $20 off, but it is now just subtracting $5. I am not sure if that one is only for first time users or not. For first time users, the code RideATX will subtract $10 from your 1st ride, even though every ad I found has said it gives you $20, or just free….. hope this helps. Please don’t waist all your time looking for their discounts, like I did.

  5. Hello, I am planning a trip to Austin next week. Is your Ride Austin promo code still active? Just wanted to confirm before I actually try to use it next week. Thanks.

    • I’m not sure. But if it’s not, you might see an error message. No harm in trying it.

      I believe other peeps have left other codes in the comments, too, if you want to give those a try.

      Thank you!

  6. I just used GetMe. The ride completed screen locked up my iPad and would not let me schedule a return trip. Urgent messages and calls and emails were ingnored. Do not try this product. I even tried a cold start after shutting down with the iPad ‘swipe’ button. The screen still squared in memory.

    I deleted the GetMe app.

  7. Uber & Lift back in Austin for 5 days – RideAustin down 36%. Now they’re begging people to use them. Seems like the riders have spoken and they prefer Uber or Lyft.

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