Should Missouri Cities Make Room For Ridesharing? My Uber Story
On a recent trip to New York City, I had the opportunity to use Uber, a rideshare company that is attempting to break into the Saint Louis and Kansas City taxi markets. The service was fast, convenient, and certainly would improve the transportation options for residents in our largest cities.
Anyone who has been to New York City knows that, at least in Manhattan, the streets at times seemingly are covered in taxicabs. Nonetheless, just going out to the corner to get one can be a chore, especially when demand for cabs is high or the weather is bad. What’s more, most cabs in New York seat only four people, so traveling by cab in large groups can mean splitting up.
I found myself in just such a situation last week. It was midnight in the West Village, raining, with a group of five of us huddled in a small pizza shop. The time we spent arguing whether to take Uber was longer than we waited for the car we ordered, which turned out to be a Suburban. The driver was courteous and payment was all done electronically.
The experience was pleasant, and really prompts the question of why cities such as Kansas City and Saint Louis feel the need protect us from this service. The dogged opposition of regulatory bodies in Saint Louis and Kansas City to ridesharing companies such as Uber (and the way they went after Lyft) needs to end. I can think of a few better ways to support the development of Saint Louis and Kansas City restaurant and entertainment districts than to guarantee prompt and comfortable transportation at the push of a button.