Lawmakers of Missouri Fail to Help Uber, Lyft Grow in the State

Lawmakers of Missouri Fail to Help Uber, Lyft Grow in the State

Ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft face another stumbling block in Missouri this year, as lawmakers failed to make things easier for the ride sharing services in this legislative session.

The companies say they cannot start providing services in other areas than the largest cities in the state soon. The issue which is stopping the companies that allow people to use apps on their smartphones to hail a private car ride service is different rules varying from city to city. The companies want uniform statewide rules which makes doing business easy.

For example, Kansas City imposes an annual fee of $45,000 per company right now, with St. Louis requiring finger print verification for drivers, which poses another hurdle for the companies.

In 2014, Uber and Lyft stopped their business in Missouri. They at present run background checks on drivers which the companies consider to be enough to ensure the safety of riders. Critics however say fingerprinting the drivers improve the safety of riders.

According to Ube, passing uniform statewide rules would permit the company to hire almost 10,000 new drivers in the state and would allow it to expand services to different cities including St. Charles, St. Joseph and Springfield. But it appears that's unlikely to happen right now.

In an emailed statement, Lauren Altmin, an Uber spokeswoman said "The regulatory uncertainty certainly slows down our ability to launch new markets."