Taxicab Commission delays vote on whether to allow Uber in St. L - KMOV.com

Taxicab Commission delays vote on whether to allow Uber in St. Louis

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A man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) A man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The St. Louis Taxicab Commission delayed a vote on whether or not they will allow ride-sharing businesses like Uber after a heated hearing on Wednesday.

St. Louis is the largest city in the country without Uber or any other smartphone-based ride-sharing services.

In order to allow Uber, the Taxicab Commission would have to expand city code, because Uber does not require their drivers to pass an FBI fingerprint background check, which taxi drivers are currently required to pass.

"In the three months since Houston's city ordinance became effective, an FBI fingerprint-base background check found a number of applicants for TNC driver's licenses, who had already been cleared through a commercial background check, had a criminal history," said an opponent of Uber.

Uber has said their background check process is adequate and the current Taxicab Commission requirements are excessive.

Other issues related to allowing Uber are whether ride-sharing drivers would be required to have the same insurance as cabs and whether taxicab business would be undercut by ride-sharing services.

"It is a way of life in every other metropolitan area in the United States. It's a way of life, it's how people get around. If the taxi, as it stands now, was adequate, there would be no Uber," said Randy Vines, an Uber supporter.

Some commissioners did not receive the final code change proposal until less than an hour before the meeting and did not have enough time to renew it. The Mayor's and County Executive's Offices requested the vote be postponed.

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