|Courtesy Thomas Hawk|
|Using an app to order|
a ride via Uber
In order to try to address the region's inadequate transportation choices for people who either can't or don't want to drive their own car, Uber and a group of very passionate supporters want to bring the service to STL. And to be clear, when I say "the service", I'm talking about the affordable UberX service where people giving the rides drive their own cars. St. Louis already has "Uber Black", the luxury car/limousine version of Uber. Right now, St. Louis is the largest metropolitan area in the country without Uber, Lyft, or any other form of ridesharing. To say the least, the (and I have no other word for this) battle to bring ridesharing to St. Louis has been a spectacle. The Metropolitan Taxi Commission, about half of whose members own or work for local taxi companies, has steadfastly blocked Uber from coming to the region, throwing up roadblocks every time it seems like a deal is done to license Uber. Just this week, it looked like the Commission was close to coming up with reasonable rules for Uber and Lyft to operate under, but the meeting turned into a melee, complete with police escorting citizens out of the meeting room.
|Courtesy St. Louis Post-Dispatch|
St. Louis is running out of eyes to blacken (as in from getting punched around over and over). The region should have ridesharing and the regulators who are holding that back should get over themselves and take the public's interests and needs into account. Once we get this embarrassing debacle behind us, maybe we as a region can spend our time and energy dealing with far more serious problems.