New app based ride sharing service launches in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)–A new ride sharing service launched in St. Louis Friday night. Lyft has become a popular app based ride sharing service in some 30 major U.S. cities.

But Lyft may be facing a bumpy ride in the Gateway City.

The app, which is available on iPhone and Android operating systems, is similar to other car services, like Uber. You simply download the app and connect through Facebook and register with your credit card information.

If you’re look for a cab, you simply click on the app and a car shows up with the fuzzy pink mustache and no money is ever exchanged. There is no set payment.

Instead, at the end of the ride passengers are encouraged to make a suggested donation which is paid for with your registered credit card.

The San Francisco based company compares it to catching a ride with a friend.

But the St. Louis Taxicab Commission sees it much differently, saying by law, any company that operate dispatch vehicles for hire in the city or county must be certified by the commission. The commission’s executive director says the drivers will be using their own vehicles or their parents without commercial insurance.

The commission requires all vehicles to be inspected and all drivers to be vetted.

The commission has issued a cease and desist order and says it will be in court on Monday to seek an injunction. It also says Lyft drivers will be ticked for ordinance violations.

But a spokesperson for Lyft says it plans to ignore the commission and go live with its app in St. Louis at 7 pm Friday.

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