Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Monday signed legislation that could bring the ride-sharing company Lyft back to the Kansas City market.
Passed with strong support from Missouri lawmakers, Gov. Greitens’ signature sets forth regulations for ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, including licensing fees, background checks and inspections.
Lyft halted its Kansas City operations in October of 2014 after the city established for-hire transportation regulations it deemed as too burdensome. In 2015 the company said it wouldn’t return to Kansas City, while Uber agreed to work within the new regulatory framework. Uber and Lyft issued statements saying the new law — which also exempts ride-sharing companies from local and municipal taxes — will allow them to expand throughout Missouri.
The law should help create a more competitive environment for ride-sharing firms in Kansas City, Mo. and create more jobs around the state. Lyft is now in operation in Kansas City, Kan. and Johnson County.
The Kansas City Star reports that the new law will spur most area taxis to operate like Uber and Lyft vehicles. Bill George — the CEO of Kansas City Transportation Group, which operates hundreds of taxis in the area — said that cabs operating under Yellow Cab and 10/10 Taxi will be shifted to zTrip, a “transportation network company” or TNC. TNCs fall under the same state licensing rules as Uber and Lyft.