ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission is set to vote this morning whether to allow Uber-X to operate in St. Louis. Taxi officials and Uber have been at odds but M.T.C. is expected to make changes to rules, finally giving Uber the green light.
The commission usually meets at its headquarters on Delmar but they`re expecting such a large crowd that they`ve moved the meeting to the theater at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.
The focus of today`s monthly meeting is going to be changing the code to allow vehicles for hire.
The commission and Uber had clashed over mandatory drug testing but officials dropped those demands. There were still some other hurdles to jump. Many have been waiting to see what the proposed changes will look like.
Those details were supposed to be released last week and as of Wednesday morning, they still have not.
In a statement, the General Manager for Uber St. Louis said:
"The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission continues to hide its plans from the people of St. Louis. Not only have they refused to collaborate regarding what a potential proposal to authorize ride-sharing may look like, they have also refused to make their proposal public despite their repeated promises to do so."
Mayor Francis Slay posted on his blog Tuesday saying while he understands people`s reliance on traditional taxis, he supports allowing Uber and that refusing to embrace technology will leave the St. Louis region behind the rest of the world.
St. Louis is the largest metropolitan city in the country without Uber. In fact, in Missouri alone -- St. Charles, Columbia and Kansas City have welcomed the service. The mayor recognizes, though, there`s still some more red tape to sort through, at the state level.
State law requires fingerprint background checks for drivers for hire in St. Louis.
But the mayor says he plans to lobby the general assembly to change that law, to fully accommodate ride sharing services in St. Louis City and St. Louis County, when they get back to work in January of 2016.
Some say the results show the country whether the St. Louis region is open to technological innovation.