A man leaves the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A bill that would allow ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate state-wide will go before the Governor Monday morning.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bob Onder (R-Lake St. Louis), has been in the works for several years. A big push this year by leaders in St. Charles County and wide-spread support from the public mean the services will now be able to legally operate all over.
Uber has been operating in St. Louis City and County for some time, but drivers could not pick up in St. Charles County and leaders there felt they were losing out in terms of tourism.
“We think it’s excellent, anything for us that can make it more convenient for visitors were in support of,” said the director of tourism for St. Charles, Joe Ward.
The St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce says Uber will be available for passengers as soon as the bill is signed into law by Governor Eric Greitins.
The bill signing ceremony will take place at St. Charles Community College.
Legally, the bill does not take effect until August, but already the Uber app is letting customers at St. Louis Lambert Airport know there are drivers available.
A spokesperson for the city of St. Louis says this bill will allow ride-share services to operate legally for the first time at the airport as long as they pay the same fees as taxi cab drivers and pay the city’s earning tax.
Jeff Lea, the spokesperson for Lambert Airport, says they will begin evaluating the logistics of adding Uber to the airport after the bill is signed.
The taxicab commission also says they will be evaluating over the next couple of weeks.
“Over the next several weeks, MTC will begin working with stakeholders to ensure that passengers using locally-regulated vehicles for hire enjoy the highest levels of security and reliability, and that the taxi industry remains a competitive employer of thousands of St Louisans,” said St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission chairman W. Thomas Reeves.
Passengers arriving at Lambert were exciting to hear St. Louis was joining dozens of others of states across the country.
“I travel to so many different airports and if you don’t have Uber, I don’t even know how I would get to work,” said Will Banks who was traveling to St. Louis for business.
A spokesperson for Lyft says they are excited about the news.
”We are currently working on expansion plans and hope to announce those soon,” said Scott Coriell, communications manager for Lyft.
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