After three years of trying, the Missouri Senate passed a proposal Tuesday that would give ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft long-sought breaks from local regulation, a measure legislative leadership and Gov. Eric Greitens have said would spur job creation and economic growth in the state.
Under a bill sponsored by Rep. Kirk Mathews, R-Eureka, the companies and their drivers would be exempt from most fees and rules such as those set by the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission.
Instead they would pay an annual $5,000 fee to the state and conduct their own background checks and vehicle inspections.
Uber and Lyft were both elated at the news, calling it a victory for drivers and riders alike. Uber has promised to create 10,000 new jobs if the measure is passed and approved by Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican.
But the commission and taxicab industry have criticized the measure, saying it gives ride-hailing services and part-time drivers an unfair advantage over professionals who drive for a living.
The bill now goes back to the House. If it wins approval, it will move to the governor’s desk.