St. Louis to test drive free electric cab service downtown

Starting this week, electric vehicle cab service — offered to the public for free — is coming to downtown St. Louis, as part of a pilot project.

Service will be offered “to and from anywhere within downtown St. Louis,” according to Downtown STL Inc., the organization that — along with the Austin-based company, Electric Cab of North America — is coordinating the project as part of its overall aim to promote vibrancy of the city’s urban core.

The “on-demand transportation service” will enable point-to-point travel for users in electric, five-passenger “eCabs” that can be hailed on the street or through an app or phone number. The ride service functions similarly to competitors like UberPool and LyftLine, by enabling multiple passengers to travel to similar destinations in the same eCab.

Though free to riders, the pilot has a cost of $135,000, borne by the Downtown St. Louis Community Improvement District, a taxing district managed by Downtown STL Inc.

Officials say the pilot is consistent with the city’s efforts to adopt new technology that can provide economic and environmental benefits.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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