St. Louis Taxi Commission votes to move towards single mobile app to link riders to cabs

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - The St. Louis Metropolitan Taxi Cab Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with plans of selecting one mobile application that would link riders to cab companies in the St. Louis Metro area.

Similar to companies like Curb, which are currently used in other metro cities across the country, a city-wide app would allow riders to see how much their ride will cost, choose the closest driver and company and rate their driver.

Unlike popular ride share services like Uber or Lyft which links riders to random drivers, the city-wide app would link riders to the licensed cab companies with licensed professional drivers.

Currently the commission requires new companies to have their own app.  All companies will be required to have one by 2017.  The city-wide app would be in addition to those individual apps, allowing for a wider selection pool for user.

"Many people don’t really care what cab they get in they just want a ride and they want a safe ride" said Basil Rudawsky with St. Louis County and Yellow Cab.

"If they can get the closest cab then that’s where the citywide app will do the most benefit" he said.

Riders who use services like Uber, say they choose that service over cab companies because of the convenience.

"You have your app on your phone and you can actually access it whenever you want and program a ride, now you can even schedule a ride" said Joan Geraldino.

"Anytime I know I need a ride somewhere and maybe it’s not convenient to take my car, or if I’m going to the baseball game and I have to pay for parking and deal with traffic, I find it really useful to use the ride-sharing apps" said Uber user Jon Franko.

If that same technology comes to St. Louis taxi cab companies, riders say they would entertain using them too.

"Uber is so user friendly that that’s kind of the beauty of it, but if the cab company comes up- I think the market will dictate- so if the cab company comes up with something better, I think we’re all open to it.  It’s all about convenience" Franko said.

The commission will now move forward with a request for proposals to find a company to use for the city-wide app.  They hope to have the company selected and the app fully functional by New Year's Eve.