Metropolitan Taxicab Commission

(courtesy of Uber)

Updated 1:08 p.m., Sept. 21 with Uber comments - The head of Uber's St. Louis operations says he does not think the legal fight to establish service in the city and St. Louis county will be settled in the near future.

"This is more than a few policy issues," Uber General Manager Sagar Shah said in an interview with  St. Louis Public Radio.

"This is about the lack of understanding or the lack of the ability to welcome new competitive industries into the market."

(courtesy of Uber)

The longstanding fight for entrance into the St. Louis market by the app-based ride-share service Uber and its supporters came to a head this week with the company’s offer to provide St. Louisans with free rides for the Fourth of July weekend.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

The ride-sharing service UberX has yet to persuade local regulators why its drivers don’t need government background checks and drug tests to begin offering rides in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Metropolitan Taxicab Commissioners met Tuesday to consider the pros and cons of revising its vehicle-for-hire code to permit UberX and other such transportation network companies (TNC).

About two dozen people attended the meeting to show their support or opposition including representatives from the local taxi companies and independent entrepreneurs.

One of the new signs that can be found on taxi stands throughout Downtown St. Louis.
Rebecca Smith/St. Louis Public Radio

Throughout downtown St. Louis, new signs can be found on the sidewalks and taxi stands.

The signs are part of a public awareness campaign that was launched Wednesday by the Missouri Department of Public Safety and the St. Louis Taxi Commission that aims to reduce the number of drunken driving accidents.

Leanna Depue, the director of Highway Safety for MoDOT, said that in 2013, 223 people were killed and 745 seriously injured in substance-related crashes.

(courtesy of Uber)

Uber has made it to St. Louis.

The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission on Tuesday approved a license for the company's "Black" service, which allows people to use a cell phone app to call for an already-licensed premium sedan. It works much the same way as the apps that many area cab companies use for reserving taxis.  

Two and a half months ago, the region’s taxi commission changed its regulations to accommodate Uber -- changes that had taken months to negotiate.

(courtesy of Uber)

Updated at 9:30 p.m. with comments from Uber.

The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission on Tuesday loosened some of the restrictions on premium sedan companies in the city, in an effort to convince Uber to enter the market. 

The San Francisco-based ride-share company wanted to open up the possibility of more competition in the black car market before it would even apply for a license to operate Uber Black here. The app dispatches already-licensed premium sedans from a smart phone.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ Health Department Director Pam Walker issued new guidelines Tuesday regulating the treatment of horses used to pull carriages for Brookdale Farms and St. Louis Carriage Co., the two businesses that offer rides in the city.

The guidelines forbid horses from working when the heat index reaches 100 degrees, and limits horses from working more than eight hours a day, and five days per week. They also set standards for stable ventilation, and cleanliness.

Courtesy of Lyft

Missouri's Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, weighed in on a St. Louis matter Monday. He took the stand on behalf of Lyft in a court hearing over whether or not the ride sharing app should be considered a car or a taxicab. In his testimony, Kinder explained how he tried to book a Lyft car a few weeks ago, only to learn, to his dismay, that St. Louis's taxi commission was blocking the startup. 

Courtesy of Lyft

On April 18th, the ride-sharing service Lyft entered the St. Louis market with a party on Cherokee Street.

And immediately, it ran into legal trouble.

Lyft's drivers were operating in violation of a cease-and-desist order from the region’s taxi regulator. A few days later, a judge ordered the company to disable its mobile app.

Lyft and the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission are back in court on May 14 arguing over whether the company should be allowed to operate — and who has the power to regulate it in the first place.

Who are the players?

Courtesy of Lyft

(Updated at 4 p.m., Mon., April 21)

A St. Louis judge has told a new ride share service that it must halt its operation in the city and county.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Taxi Cab Commission sued "Lyft" last week for entering the region’s market without registering.

Lyft allows customers to summon drivers using an app on their cell phones. Once the ride is over, customers pay the driver through credit card information stored within the application.

(Kelsey Proud/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

St. Louisans will soon have a new way to hail cabs in the region. The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission on Tuesday approved a license for Carmel Car and Limo to start offering its smartphone app in St. Louis.

(via Flickr/denharsh)

UPDATE: Feb 25, 11 a.m.

The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission approved Carmel's application for the dispatch license. Seven members of the commission voted in favor of the license and one abstained.


A car service that dispatches its vehicles using a smartphone app could start operating in St. Louis as soon as this week.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

About two dozen taxi drivers protested outside of City Hall in St. Louis on Monday, denouncing a Muslim cab driver's arrest for wearing his religious clothing while on the job.

Raja Naeem jokes that his attorney calls him "the Muslim Rosa Parks."

The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission warned him that he couldn't wear his religious clothing while picking up customers from Lambert airport, and that he would be arrested if he did.

He wore it anyway, and says his Kufi - his hat - was thrown on the ground, which he says is a great insult.