January 10, 2017
Contact: Mary Enger, Communications Director, 636-949-1856, or 636-443-1008, firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Charles County, Missouri – St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann is traveling to Jefferson City today to lend his support to House Bill 130, which is being heard in the House General Laws Committee. The bill, if passed, would establish a statewide regulatory system for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft.
County Executive Ehlmann firmly believes these services are an important transportation option for employees, residents and visitors in St. Charles County. He intends to speak to lawmakers on behalf of the bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Kirk Matthews, R-Pacific, as well as the companion bill in the Senate, SB185, sponsored by Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis.
“Transportation options are important to employers trying to attract and retain a workforce,” Ehlmann says. “Numerous St. Charles County businesses and many residents have expressed to me their desire for this service to become available.”
TNCs, such as Uber and Lyft, are accessible through an app on a smart phone or the web. Customers call for a ride and then are picked up by a certified driver. TNC drivers provide transportation in their own non-commercial vehicles.
Under the bill, TNCs must disclose the fare or fare structure on its website or digital network, provide riders the applicable rates being charged and the option to receive an estimated fare. The TNC's digital network must display a picture of the TNC driver, the license plate number of the vehicle and a detailed electronic receipt to the rider. Further, TNCs must adopt a zero tolerance policy toward drivers using intoxicating substances, enforce driver eligibility requirements, including background checks and registration, adopt nondiscrimination policies with respect to riders, and maintain individual trip records of riders and drivers.
TNCs are not restricted in unincorporated St. Charles County or in any other municipality in the County except the City of St. Charles, where they are prohibited. Uber currently operates in Missouri only in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia, and operated in Jefferson City for the governor’s inauguration this week. Uber is not operating in St. Charles County and someone desiring to hail an Uber ride anywhere in the County will not be serviced.
Ehlmann and County Councilman Mike Elam are interested in taking steps to move St. Charles County forward if the bill at the state level does not pass.
“We should be a leading force in the state for embracing technology in all phases and giving our citizens more transportation options for moving around the region,” said Elam. “Uber and other like services will make life easier and help our county grow.”
Bills in prior years have failed to come to a vote in either chamber of the state legislature. “It remains preferable that the state regulate an industry that constantly crosses city and county boundaries,” Ehlmann says.