From the Kansas City Star, Scott Canon reports that Kansas City taxis will be moving to a Uber/Lyft model after Kansas passed a law that makes it easier for transportation network companies to be licensed and operate. Scott writes:
On Monday, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed a law pushed by ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft. It poses lighter regulation than Kansas City’s ordinance governing drive-for-hire businesses. Crucially, it declares that the rules passed in Jefferson City trump those adopted by City Hall.
That Kansas City ordinance had been designed, amid much debate, to adapt to the app-driven business models used by Uber and Lyft. Those companies recruit vehicle owners to make themselves available to customers using smartphone apps to hail a ride.
The city wanted those businesses to operate under the same rules as traditional cab companies, including stringent background checks on drivers.
On Tuesday, the CEO of Kansas City’s dominant taxi business said that all but about 40 of the roughly 450 vehicles the company operates won’t bother with a city license come fall.
“We were ambivalent about the bill” that Greitens signed into law, George said. “But it gave us the flexibility we needed. … We’re always going to survive.”