ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – “Uber X” is no longer offering free rides this Independence Day weekend. The St. Louis Taxicab commission granted Uber’s request for the promotional window pending certain conditions were met. The commission wanted Uber drivers to submit to background checks. Uber responded saying the requirements like fingerprinting and drug testing were impossible to meet by this weekend.
The ride sharing app has had trouble making inroads into St. Louis City and County. This weekend the company was offering free rides. A limited window was being offered by the Metropolitan St. Louis Taxicab Commission.
The commission wanted Uber drivers to follow the same rules for background checks and drug testing as cab drivers. A letter from the Metropolitan St. Louis Taxicab Commission granted Uber’s request to offer free rides this weekend. There are a few conditions for the temporary permits.
The Metropolitan St. Louis Taxicab Commission is asking for a list of Uber drivers including a copy of driver’s licence, insurance card and background check. Each driver is to register with the MTC and submit to fingerprinting and background checks.
The commission says these conditions meet the minimum amount of scrutiny for the safety of passengers in each Uber vehicle.
Uber responded to the Taxicab’s terms for the temporary permits with this statement:
It’s extremely disappointing that the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission has chosen to block Uber from providing the people of St. Louis with safe rides for free during the Fourth of July weekend.
During months of discussions, it’s been made crystal clear that onerous requirements such as fingerprinting and drug testing would render it impossible for Uber to enter St. Louis, temporarily or permanently. Mandating these requirements, which do nothing to improve safety, is merely a charade intended to deny the people of St. Louis transportation options at a time they need it the most.
Saying no to free rides to reduce drunk driving is wrong.