July 25, 2017

Along for the Ride: After losing Jeff City fight to Uber, taxi agency may loosen cab rules

UBER Logo on black background
Image Courtesy of UBER

A driver pulls out of the taxi stand across from the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis. (File photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com) Now that it has lost its political battle with Uber in the Legislature, the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission is facing another challenge.

The agency may relax some of its rules and fees for taxi companies in St. Louis and St. Louis County to make the cabs more competitive with app-based Uber, Lyft and similar ride-hailing companies.

However, commission chairman Tom Reeves points out, the agency must balance that with its responsibility to protect people using taxis “both in terms of the vehicles the public is riding in and the drivers driving them.”

“This is almost a Catch-22 here,” Reeves said at a commission meeting Thursday.

The Legislature earlier this month passed a bill exempting the ride-hailing companies — formally called transportation network companies — from regulation by the taxi commission and other local governments across Missouri. State law would still require the commission to regulate the local taxi industry.

Gov. Eric Greitens plans to sign the bill Monday.The commission will hold a special meeting sometime in the next two weeks to get proposals for rule changes from cab companies large and small […]

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