Uber is spreading deeper roots in the Kansas City metro after new regulations have allowed the ride-sharing giant to operate legally in Kansas and Missouri.
The San Francisco-based company is currently renovating a new Kansas City office on McGee Street near the Power and Light District, said Andy Hung, general manager of Uber Kansas City. Formerly a bar, the office will serve as a customer service center and private office space for eight local staff members. Previously, Uber staff worked from public spaces and in hotels, according to a release.
Hung said the passage of municipal ordinances allowing Uber to operate legally in the metro paved the way for a new office and more established presence in the area.
“Today is about the riders and drivers in Kansas City who fought to make sure Uber is here to stay,” Hung said in a release. “It is fitting that we are breaking ground during Techweek and are able to share this moment with so many members of the community. … Kansas City partners are what makes the business successful, and we aim to provide top-notch customer service in order to retain them.”
The Kansas City Council in April approved an ordinance establishing city-wide requirements for companies and drivers operating under Kansas City’s vehicle for hire code.
“We’ve said all along that Uber and all tech-driven, ride-hailing companies are welcome in Kansas City as long as we ensure that residents and visitors are transported safely,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said in a statement.
The Kansas Legislature also approved a measure in mid-May permitting Uber’s operations with a nearly unanimous vote by both the State Senate and House. Both Kansas and Missouri Legislatures faced pressure from the tech industry and users of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft to sanction their operations.