Kansas City’s licensed taxi business is about to all but disappear. But not its taxis.
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. Kansas City wanted those businesses to operate under the same rules as traditional cab companies, including stringent background checks on drivers.
The new law will take effect in August.
On Tuesday, the CEO of Kansas City’s dominant taxi business said that come fall, all but about 40 of the roughly 450 vehicles the company operates won’t bother with a city license. Instead, Bill George said, cabs that have operated under the Yellow Cab and 10/10 Taxi will be shifted to zTrip, a “transportation network company,” or TNC — subject to the same state licensing standards as fellow TNCs Uber and Lyft.
“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.”
Read more: Kansas City Star