Taxis, Beware: St. Louis to Get First App-Based Car Service, Carmel

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Uber on Facebook
Need a ride? An app for affordable private cars is coming to St. Louis.
St. Louis is just days away from joining the more than 35 American cities and dozens of countries using apps to call for a cheap and easy car service.

That's according to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, who enigmatically tweeted about the coming service Sunday afternoon.

There's no word yet as to which personal driver company could be moving to St. Louis or when, but Uber, America's hegemonic car service app, had been making a play to move into the Lou for months.

UPDATE, 10:33 p.m.: Carmel, the New York-based car-for-hire app, is the company looking to open in St. Louis, according to city spokeswoman Maggie Crane. The service recently expanded to Dallas and Nashville.

Carmel has a hearing Tuesday morning to get the certificate they'd need to be licensed to operate in St. Louis.

But what about Uber, the internationally popular car service app that's been trying to come to the Lou for a year now?

"They've got competition," says Crane.

Check back for more updates.

What's the hold up? Car-for-hire companies say city regulations that favor taxis limit its business model.

See also: Found on Craigslist: 1975 Electric Car Looks Part-Golf Cart, Part-Cheese Wedge

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Uber
"We would love to be in St. Louis, but the regulations are clearly meant to protect existing companies," says Corey Owens, head of public policy at Uber, to the St. Louis Business Journal in September. "We have plans to be in St. Louis in the future, but we haven't figured out how to do that yet because it's stacked in the favor of (taxi companies.)"

Owens wrote a blog post criticizing St. Louis and other cities for being beholden to pro-taxi lobbyists and preventing Uber from "revolutionizing urban transportation."

St. Louis' Metropolitan Taxicab Commission created a dispatch license for companies like Uber in early 2013, but chairman Louis Hamilton says car-hailing apps are only allowed in St. Louis if they play by the rules.

"Uber is welcome to come in and compete, but we're not going to put up if they operate like cowboys in the wild west and ignore public safety concerns that we have to deal with at the taxi commission," he said to the St. Louis Business Journal.

Never used a car-hailing app? Find out how it works on the next page.

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15 comments
andrew684
andrew684

These taxi booking apps are quite easiest way to book taxis as well as transact the money to cab companies through online. Seems after releasing the taxi dispatch system like uber, halio, and taxi mobility, the way of taxi booking has been changed for ever.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

.


            Boycott the Greedy Big $$ Taxi Cartels !!


Support your Local, Independent Ride Sharing / Car Pooling Service !!

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

Saint Louis Taxi (County Cab) has an app already. Charges standard rates. I do not like the idea of a car with flexible rates. You'll never know if you are being ripped off until you get the bill. Too late.

Dean
Dean

There are dozens of iPhone and Android apps that work with taxis that charge regulated fares, not some capricious corporate-controlled ever-changing prices. Problem is - Uber, Lyft, Sidecar - are being readied for IPOs and as such are being pumped by Silicon Valley "entrepreneurs" tirelessly, on every opportunity they get.
Truth remains - all so called ride-"sharing" companies are based on a flawed
business model that survives by sifting local profits toward their own pockets.
Once regulators realize what's at stake with "ride-sharing” scheme - they
will, have no doubt, regulate them same way as they regulate taxis now. The
goal of Uber, Lyft and Sidecar is to grow as fast as they can until enough people
wake up to the twisted reality of their machination. And btw - when your local taxes increase - thank Uber and Lyft - because what was local profit and city revenue is now gone to some offshore account, soon to be joined with future IPO billions. Incredible how people lack the most basic ability to analyze anything these days.

Tom Schuettler
Tom Schuettler

I've used Uber in Chicago....its an awesome service. Too bad the STL taxi commission is so hell bent on running an antiquated monopoly. Just one of a thousand things that are ruining downtown.

rumagogo
rumagogo

Finally. The taxis in the city are horrid. I live 5 miles from downtown and in the past three months have had 3 no-shows from taxis. Unless you happen to be at a hotel, airport, or casino where the cabs are on standby, it is a challenge of epic proportions to get one to pick you up.

Paul Deal
Paul Deal

Taxi commission is more concerned with limiting competition than improving safety. Can't wait for Lyft or Uber to get here.

Nellie Craver
Nellie Craver

I've heard of this! My sis in law is in CA and she's used uber. It's supposed to be really convenient!

Rachele Moresi
Rachele Moresi

It's Lyft actually. They've posted ads looking for drivers in the STL area.

Danielle M Anaya
Danielle M Anaya

Ooh does this mean we will cars with bright pink mustaches all over town?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@JamesMadison  "You'll never know if you are being ripped off until you get the bill. Too late."


So you must really be terrified of the Stock and Commodities markets. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@JamesMadison  "You'll never know if you are being ripped off until you get the bill. Too late."


You must really fear the Stock and Commodities markets.



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