St. Louis leaders unveiled new, electric cabs (eCabs) in downtown Monday.
They work like an Uber or Lyft, where you download an app to call them, but they’re only designed to take you a mile or two and work as a pool with other customers.
It’s part of a trend called Microtransit.
Other areas of the city are also interested in the trend and giving people other options for transportation.
“It usually falls between mass transit which are longer trips, or cab rides or Uber which would be longer as well,” 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy said.
He’s interested to find out if Microtransit could work in the Cortex area, the technology hub in the Central West End.
“The idea of being able to step off a MetroLink platform and be able to move anywhere within a one to a two-mile radius and being able to travel from the West End to the Grove to the medical center to Ikea and not have to get in your car. It’s going to change the entire landscape of the area if we can figure out how to do that,” Roddy said.
He adds this is not only about connecting business districts, but also residential neighborhoods.
Roddy said 40,000 people converge on the Cortex every day and more than a quarter of them don’t drive themselves. That’s why he thinks this concept of connecting the last few miles to public transportation could be great.
Currently Roddy said this is in the early stages and they’re working to study if Microtranist is feasible for the area.
As for the new eCabs downtown, currently they’re available a select area hotels. They’ll open up business to everyone for free from March 1 until the end of June.
The eCabs will only operate from the Mississippi River to the East, 18th Street to the West, Cass to the North and 64/40 to the South.
You can download the app in your app store by searching “Electric Cab”.
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