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Have you been trying to follow the contentious ridesharing debate in St. Louis but had trouble keeping track of all the events and people involved? Don’t despair–here is EQ’s weekly update on everything that happened in St. Louis with Uber, Goober & Co.
- On Friday, August 7th, the St. Louis Business Journal published an op-ed by Suzanne Sitherhood titled “Uber vs. MTC: Local legacy of innovation must continue“. Calling the tone of the ridesharing debate “bewildering,” the CEO of The Laclede Group Inc. argued that ridesharing means “increased access to affordable transportation” and could “very well make the roads safer.” In regards to the Metropolitan Taxi Commission (MTC), Sitherhood urged: “We need to ask ourselves if what we are currently doing reflects the technological advances made since the MTC was formed more than a decade ago.”
- On Tuesday, August 11th, Mike Ziegler published an article on Medium, explaining how he submitted a Sunshine Law request on July 2nd to get the MTC to disclose complaints and comments from drivers and passengers in the last 18 months, because cab companies are not required to report an accident to the commission. Ziegler, a former journalist for STLtoday.com, hopes for the documents to shed light on “how the MTC enforces the code it creates,” among other things, and help the public “hold the MTC accountable as a regulatory body.” After successfully crowdfunding the $350 fee the MTC incurred to process the complaints, he is now waiting for the MTC to deliver the documents.
- In a related case, KMOX News requested public documents from the MTC in late June, reporting on July 20th that it’s been 21 days since they “submitted a Sunshine Law request for messages relating to the contentious Uber debate.” Ziegler says this is “likely due” to the “archaic systems” the MTC uses to “collect and review physical documents.”
- On Wednesday, August 12th, Edward Domain, founder and CEO of Techli.com, tweeted he is expecting St. Louis’ Mayor Francis Slay to disclose a “revised code on ridesharing midday today.” Over the past six weeks, Domain has emerged as one of the most outspoken advocates of ridesharing in St. Louis.
— Edward Domain (@EdwardDomain) August 12, 2015
- Two days later, after city hall had not made any public comments, Domain tweeted this: “ANOTHER week & nothing from @StengerSTLCo @MayorSlay on ride sharing in #STL. Meanwhile, we grow smaller in 21st century’s rearview”. In early August, Domain and four other members of St. Louis’ startup community launched Groober, a web-based app parodying the lack of Uber in the city (EQ covered it).
That’s it for this week from EQ about the ridesharing debate in St. Louis. We will keep you up to date with the latest news about Uber and Co. via weekly roundups as news occurs.