The Jefferson City City Council will consider allowing ride-sharing provider Uber to offer free service the day Republican Governor-elect Eric Greitens takes office.
Council member Rick Mihalevich is sponsoring a bill to amend the city’s transportation code to permit the free rides for a single 24 hour period.
The measure requires Uber to identify insurance it’s secured to cover the trips and supply contact information of a company representative who would handle emergency situations.
The city’s Law Department has concerns the bill doesn’t include proper requirements for insurance, car inspections and background checks. It says the city would be relying on minimum safety regulations all drivers and vehicles have to meet such as having auto insurance and vehicle safety inspection certification.
Republican state Representative Travis Fitzwater of Holts Summit tweeted at Missourinet that he’ll testify in favor of allowing the Uber service at the Jefferson City Council meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin thinks the company will be able to alleviate any worries city councilors or administrators might have. “I believe on Tuesday night at the council meeting that they will alleviate the concerns, if there are any, for that one day temporary operating permit.”
She says Uber will be closely watched in the event the city considers allowing the service on a permanent basis. “This day on inauguration day when Uber would be operating would probably be a good example to look at whether that was successful as they look at whether or not to propose that service in the future.”
The ridesharing company currently operates in St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia, Missouri, but has no presence yet in Jefferson City. It approached city officials to inquire about offering free rides on Inauguration Day, January 9th, without having to meet “Vehicle for Hire” regulations.
Uber is a service which allows individuals to use a smartphone app to book and pay for a ride.