St. Louis BarCycle Saved, Hopes to Resume Tours This Weekend
Dan Lloyd has been watching his beloved BarCycle sit idle in a garage in Soulard almost all summer long, and it turns out that it was all likely for naught.
BarCycle Facebook This is not a taxi, turns out.
At its morning hearing, the general counsel for the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission said the body has no jurisdiction over BarCycle and that it should drop any objections to its continued operation. The commission obliged.
"To be told they don't have the power to regulate me in the first place is pretty frustrating," Lloyd told DailyRFT this morning. "I'm just glad it's over. Or I hope that it is."
For about a year, BarCycle happily lead bachelorettes and boozehounds alike on Soulard pub crawls. A sober guide mans the helm of the 16-seat "bar-cycle" while patrons pedal and drink to their hearts' content. The goofy contraption has popped up in cities all over the country in the last 10 years or so.
About two months ago, after resident complaints about noise, Lloyd was told he needs a taxi license to operate and had his business license yanked. Alderwoman Phyllis Young was the most vocal proponent of getting BarCycle off the streets, arguing it's not right for the neighborhood. Lloyd applied for the license but had a terrible time navigating city bureaucracy -- the commission meets only once a month and cancelled discussion of BarCycle more than once without much explanation. He was at various times also told he needs a liquor license from the the excise commission, which according to city spokesperson Kara Bowlin was never true.
This morning's hearing on the BarCycle was also supposedly cancelled, but then came the announcement from counsel that Lloyd's vehicle is -- in fact -- not a taxi, and therefore does not need a taxi license. Lloyd plans to get in touch immediately with the city to get his business license back. He says he was told the taxi license issue was the only reason his business license was taken away in the first place. Now he just needs something in writing from the taxi commission to give to the city.
"I'm hoping I can have this all resolved by today," he says.
If that's doable, Lloyd says he'll be able to keep his Friday and Saturday tour reservations, and that he may even do a "Victory Tour" on Thursday for family and friends. If he's right and the city almost put him out of business for no reason, he has some reason to party like a bike star.