The three-year battle to get a ride-hailing bill to the governor’s desk is finally over.
The Missouri House overwhelmingly passed a bill to introduce statewide regulations for Uber, Lyft and other app-based companies to operate anywhere in the state.
The rules would require each company to pay a $5,000 licensing fee and set up separate contracts with airports. Individual drivers would have to have liability insurance and submit to background checks, but wouldn’t be required to obtain a chauffeur’s license.
“They are independent contractors, which means they are now business owners,” bill sponsor Republican Rep. Kirk Mathews of Pacific said. “They get to say when they want to work and when they don’t want to work.”
Ride-hailing companies currently operate in four cities in Missouri: St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia. Uber has had a long-running legal battle with the St. Louis Taxicab commission over its efforts to operate there.
Mathews said Gov. Eric Greitens is expected to sign the bill, although there’s been no official response yet from the governor’s office.