Uber has expanded into Ellis County

Photo courtesy Uber Technologies Inc.

ELLIS COUNTY — Uber has confirmed they expanded into Ellis County earlier this month.

An Uber driver, Brannon Bridge, notified the Ellis County Citizen last week that portions of Ellis County were now showing as coverage in his Uber app.

Ellis County Citizen verified the map and contacted Uber for confirmation.

According to Travis Considine, Communications Manager for Uber, "Uber expanded into Ellis County on Friday, August 11, and is operating in Waxahachie, Ferris, Palmer, Ennis, and Midlothian (among others)."

Some Texas cities, such as Austin and Houston, previously attempted to limit ride-hailing companies from operating in cities or attempted to impose restrictions on the companies.

For example, Lyft and Uber stopped providing services in Austin late 2014 when the city began requiring fingerprint and background checks on the independent drivers.

The Texas State Legislature passed a law that Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed on May 29 creating statewide regulations on ride-hailing companies thus limiting action that cities could take against these companies.

As a result, Uber and Lyft resumed services in Austin.

The new state law requires ride-hailing companies to conduct national criminal background checks on their drivers every year, obtain a permit from the state and pay a $5,000 yearly fee that allows the company to operate statewide. It does not impose fingerprinting requirements as some cities attempted to mandate.

People seeking ride-hailing services in Ellis County now have an option to use Uber. As demand grows within the county, Uber will also need more drivers serving the county.

CORRECTION: We updated the story to correct a mistake. We had stated that Uber ceased operating in Houston because of city mandates and restrictions. The correct city should have been Austin. We have made the correction and apologize to Uber for the mistake.