Uber at Lambert

Clean Diesel

Active Member
from stltoday.com

Six cab companies and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay are calling for Lambert-St. Louis International Airport officials to crack down on UberX drivers, who have been working in violation of local vehicle-for-hire laws for nearly a year by picking up passengers at the airport.

Slay has been a strong ally of UberX, the app-based, ride-hailing service in which drivers use their own cars to ferry passengers, and even supported a plan that would have allowed its drivers to work without fingerprint checks.

But on Wednesday, he penned a letter to Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive and co-founder, saying “it is time for you to follow the existing law.”

The letter came after negotiations broke down with Uber to set a fee arrangement to allow UberX to pick up airport passengers.

Taxis must pay a $4 fee for every airport pickup — $3 goes to the airport, and $1 goes to the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, which governs vehicles for hire in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

That fee was raised in April to give the airport an additional dollar above what it had received. There is no fee to drop off passengers.

“Regrettably, Uber would not agree to the fees and instead proposed state legislation to exempt itself from all airport fees as well as the city earnings tax, which conventional taxis also pay,” Slay wrote of the stalled negotiations.

Uber said in a statement Wednesday that it’s committed to working with officials to find a solution. Slay said he wants the same thing.

But local cab companies are fed up at what they say is an uneven playing field.

“Enough is enough. We’re having to follow the rules and they’re not,” said Dave McNutt, who owns Laclede Cab Co. and spearheaded a letter signed by the heads of six cab companies to the airport commission calling for tougher enforcement.

The letter dated Monday asks the airport commission to do five things: place the issue on the agenda of its next meeting; order airport officials to recognize the legal status of Uber as an on-call/reserve taxicab; require Uber to follow all the rules and pay the fees to work there; pursue “vigorous civil and criminal enforcement” until Uber either follows the law or ceases operations at the airport; and waive the fees that taxicabs must pay to work at airport until Uber complies with the law.

“For over a year, airport officials have turned a blind eye to Uber’s open and notorious flouting of every reasonable regulation enacted for the health, safety and welfare of the traveling public,” says the letter, which also was sent to Slay and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.

On Sept. 18, the taxi commission voted to allow ride-hailing services, but it required drivers to be fingerprinted and possess a Class E Missouri commercial driver’s license, also known as a chauffeur’s license. Those terms are dictated by a state law specific to St. Louis and St. Louis County.

That same day, Uber launched UberX, even though drivers had not met the requirements set by the taxi commission, and the company filed a federal lawsuit against the commission alleging anti-competitive practices in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. UberX has operated in defiance of commission regulations since then.


On Oct. 5, the commission filed its own suit seeking to have Uber barred from operating. The suits are being heard in federal court.

The Legislature wrapped up May 13, but none of the bills put forth for consideration to create statewide ride-hailing regulations in place of a patchwork of local rules was passed into law.

So that month, the taxi commission began issuing its own tickets. It has cited 32 drivers for offenses such as driving without a taxi commission license or vehicle permit.

UberX driver William Hernlund, 69, is among that group. He was ticketed June 1 for the above violations.

“Since I’m not a taxi cab, I don’t see why I should have my car inspected by the taxi commission,” said Hernlund, who was driving a 2016 Hyundai Sonata.

He said a man, who he later learned was a taxi commission agent, summoned a ride in the mid-afternoon through the Uber app for a ride from the Embassy Suites downtown to Ballpark Village. As the ride ended, Hernlund said a car pulled up behind him with a flashing light on the dash. Another taxi commission agent got out, as did a uniformed St. Louis police officer, and he was ticketed.

A police spokeswoman said the officer was off duty and working a part-time job for the taxi commission.

The ticket did not say the amount of the fine, and Hernlund said his court date in the St. Louis municipal court had been postponed.

None of the tickets issued by the taxi commission were at the airport, where UberX drivers have been dropping off passengers. The Uber app does not allow people to summon an UberX pickup from the airport, although McNutt said there are ways around that. Uber’s more-expensive service Uber Black is available and operates by the rules.

The six cab companies say it’s unfair that their drivers must pay the special fees to work at the airport and Uber does not.

“This pattern of selective enforcement has caused, and will continue to cause, significant economic damage to law abiding providers, continue to place them at an unsustainable competitive disadvantage and further facilitate and encourage Uber’s anti-competitive tactics,” says the letter, which also says such an exemption to the rules could only be accomplished with “affirmative coordination and direction among high level airport officials.”

The letter is signed by McNutt, Basil Rudawsky of St. Louis County Cab, Fred Sweets of St. Louis American Cab, Edward Shanayev of Chesterfield Car Service, Assfaw Almayehu of Metropolitan Cab and John Long of ABC/Checker Cab.

McNutt and Rudawsky are members of the taxi commission — four of the commission’s nine members must be from the taxi industry, another requirement of the state law governing it.

Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Lambert’s director, said at an airport commission meeting Wednesday that airport police officers would be watching for UberX drivers and would ticket them when caught — a difficult task, because the cars aren’t labeled as Ubers.

She said officers would look at how drivers interact with passengers, including if they hugged each other.

Meanwhile, UberX continues to operate. And drivers such as Hernlund keep working.

“If I got a ticket for running a stop sign, would I stop driving my car?” he said. “No.”
 
I just love the part about basing the harassment on whether the driver and passenger are hugging each other. What utter nonsense. Drop off don't interfere with the fee structure. I don't know how to 'get around' the app not working for pickups...so.....screw you, McNutt
 

cindym

Well-Known Member
Several ways:

Pax drops pin at MetroLink station or at a hotel across the street, then calls the driver and tells them where they really are...like they do from St Charles.

OR:

Pax rides free shuttle over to hotel across the street and opens app from there. A bit more hassle for the pax, but WAY safer for the driver. :smiles: (And plenty of cabs wait at hotels across the street, too, avoiding the airport surcharge.)
 
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RamzFanz

Well-Known Member
“Enough is enough. We’re having to follow the rules and they’re not,” said Dave McNutt, who owns Laclede Cab Co.
Wait, is this the cab company with EXCLUSIVE rights to ballpark village parking lot?

You know, if taxi companies didn't suck so bad, they wouldn't be so scared of competition. 4 taxi cab reps on the board that regulates them, no driver for years as mandated by law? Please. The commission needs to be disbanded and competition allowed.
 

dumbdriver

Active Member
from stltoday.com

Six cab companies and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay are calling for Lambert-St. Louis International Airport officials to crack down on UberX drivers, who have been working in violation of local vehicle-for-hire laws for nearly a year by picking up passengers at the airport.

Slay has been a strong ally of UberX, the app-based, ride-hailing service in which drivers use their own cars to ferry passengers, and even supported a plan that would have allowed its drivers to work without fingerprint checks.

But on Wednesday, he penned a letter to Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive and co-founder, saying “it is time for you to follow the existing law.”

The letter came after negotiations broke down with Uber to set a fee arrangement to allow UberX to pick up airport passengers.

Taxis must pay a $4 fee for every airport pickup — $3 goes to the airport, and $1 goes to the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, which governs vehicles for hire in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

That fee was raised in April to give the airport an additional dollar above what it had received. There is no fee to drop off passengers.

“Regrettably, Uber would not agree to the fees and instead proposed state legislation to exempt itself from all airport fees as well as the city earnings tax, which conventional taxis also pay,” Slay wrote of the stalled negotiations.

Uber said in a statement Wednesday that it’s committed to working with officials to find a solution. Slay said he wants the same thing.

But local cab companies are fed up at what they say is an uneven playing field.

“Enough is enough. We’re having to follow the rules and they’re not,” said Dave McNutt, who owns Laclede Cab Co. and spearheaded a letter signed by the heads of six cab companies to the airport commission calling for tougher enforcement.

The letter dated Monday asks the airport commission to do five things: place the issue on the agenda of its next meeting; order airport officials to recognize the legal status of Uber as an on-call/reserve taxicab; require Uber to follow all the rules and pay the fees to work there; pursue “vigorous civil and criminal enforcement” until Uber either follows the law or ceases operations at the airport; and waive the fees that taxicabs must pay to work at airport until Uber complies with the law.

“For over a year, airport officials have turned a blind eye to Uber’s open and notorious flouting of every reasonable regulation enacted for the health, safety and welfare of the traveling public,” says the letter, which also was sent to Slay and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger.

On Sept. 18, the taxi commission voted to allow ride-hailing services, but it required drivers to be fingerprinted and possess a Class E Missouri commercial driver’s license, also known as a chauffeur’s license. Those terms are dictated by a state law specific to St. Louis and St. Louis County.

That same day, Uber launched UberX, even though drivers had not met the requirements set by the taxi commission, and the company filed a federal lawsuit against the commission alleging anti-competitive practices in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. UberX has operated in defiance of commission regulations since then.


On Oct. 5, the commission filed its own suit seeking to have Uber barred from operating. The suits are being heard in federal court.

The Legislature wrapped up May 13, but none of the bills put forth for consideration to create statewide ride-hailing regulations in place of a patchwork of local rules was passed into law.

So that month, the taxi commission began issuing its own tickets. It has cited 32 drivers for offenses such as driving without a taxi commission license or vehicle permit.

UberX driver William Hernlund, 69, is among that group. He was ticketed June 1 for the above violations.

“Since I’m not a taxi cab, I don’t see why I should have my car inspected by the taxi commission,” said Hernlund, who was driving a 2016 Hyundai Sonata.

He said a man, who he later learned was a taxi commission agent, summoned a ride in the mid-afternoon through the Uber app for a ride from the Embassy Suites downtown to Ballpark Village. As the ride ended, Hernlund said a car pulled up behind him with a flashing light on the dash. Another taxi commission agent got out, as did a uniformed St. Louis police officer, and he was ticketed.

A police spokeswoman said the officer was off duty and working a part-time job for the taxi commission.

The ticket did not say the amount of the fine, and Hernlund said his court date in the St. Louis municipal court had been postponed.

None of the tickets issued by the taxi commission were at the airport, where UberX drivers have been dropping off passengers. The Uber app does not allow people to summon an UberX pickup from the airport, although McNutt said there are ways around that. Uber’s more-expensive service Uber Black is available and operates by the rules.

The six cab companies say it’s unfair that their drivers must pay the special fees to work at the airport and Uber does not.

“This pattern of selective enforcement has caused, and will continue to cause, significant economic damage to law abiding providers, continue to place them at an unsustainable competitive disadvantage and further facilitate and encourage Uber’s anti-competitive tactics,” says the letter, which also says such an exemption to the rules could only be accomplished with “affirmative coordination and direction among high level airport officials.”

The letter is signed by McNutt, Basil Rudawsky of St. Louis County Cab, Fred Sweets of St. Louis American Cab, Edward Shanayev of Chesterfield Car Service, Assfaw Almayehu of Metropolitan Cab and John Long of ABC/Checker Cab.

McNutt and Rudawsky are members of the taxi commission — four of the commission’s nine members must be from the taxi industry, another requirement of the state law governing it.

Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Lambert’s director, said at an airport commission meeting Wednesday that airport police officers would be watching for UberX drivers and would ticket them when caught — a difficult task, because the cars aren’t labeled as Ubers.

She said officers would look at how drivers interact with passengers, including if they hugged each other.

Meanwhile, UberX continues to operate. And drivers such as Hernlund keep working.

“If I got a ticket for running a stop sign, would I stop driving my car?” he said. “No.”
Wait, is this the cab company with EXCLUSIVE rights to ballpark village parking lot?

You know, if taxi companies didn't suck so bad, they wouldn't be so scared of competition. 4 taxi cab reps on the board that regulates them, no driver for years as mandated by law? Please. The commission needs to be disbanded and competition allowed.
Since Mayor Francois Slay's brother runs the airport and is the highest paid City employee of st. Louis, they probably got mad when Uber would not buy them both their own private Lear Jets, go figure!!
 

UberQueen16

Member
One of my recent pax told me he caught a cab and told him to go across the street and let him out so he could call Uber. Cab took him to some 7-11 by the airport. I am still trying to figure out where that is. All the while the cab driving saying, no, no I take you. Uber took him home. He also told me he does not like the signs in the Uber cars that basically beg for tips and will rate them low, even if the ride is fine. And he told me he came across an Uber driver that was selling water and candy. shameful.
 

dumbdriver

Active Member
so the officers won't think it's a paying customer I do things like grab their butt with my hand or stick my tongue in their Ear, or French Kiss the customers that way they're not suspicious that we don't really "KNOW" each other like "That", you know, what I mean it works every time! PS say things like: last night was really the best or I'll make sure to look after our baby.
 

dumbdriver

Active Member
One of my recent pax told me he caught a cab and told him to go across the street and let him out so he could call Uber. Cab took him to some 7-11 by the airport. I am still trying to figure out where that is. All the while the cab driving saying, no, no I take you. Uber took him home. He also told me he does not like the signs in the Uber cars that basically beg for tips and will rate them low, even if the ride is fine. And he told me he came across an Uber driver that was selling water and candy. shameful.
what is wrong with selling candy or water out of the car in Colorado now that pot is legal they are allowed to sell marijuana from the car. it helps Finance the lower rates there.
 

ivtecboy79

New Member
One of my recent pax told me he caught a cab and told him to go across the street and let him out so he could call Uber. Cab took him to some 7-11 by the airport. I am still trying to figure out where that is. All the while the cab driving saying, no, no I take you. Uber took him home. He also told me he does not like the signs in the Uber cars that basically beg for tips and will rate them low, even if the ride is fine. And he told me he came across an Uber driver that was selling water and candy. shameful.
I have my ways with pax that rate low over something silly like that.... you give me a low rating I will go back and change your rating to low... eye for a eye. When pax have a 2 stars, most drivers wont pick them up anymore. I know I wouldnt touch a pax with 2 stars.
 
I just love the part about basing the harassment on whether the driver and passenger are hugging each other. What utter nonsense. Drop off don't interfere with the fee structure. I don't know how to 'get around' the app not working for pickups...so.....screw you, McNutt
I did have one pickup at the airport, but didn't know back then it wasn't allowed. It was for a stewardess based out of Atlanta. How I got around it was she pinned the address, and I had to call her to find out where she was.
 

Screwber69

Member
"The Uber app does not allow people to summon an UberX pickup from the airport" Double B.S. The actual problem is not the UberX drivers it's the rider that are not aware that we are not supposed to be picking them up there and the address doesn't always identify the location as being Lambert.
 

cindym

Well-Known Member
You obviously haven't downloaded or used the Rider's app or you would know that you can not ping Uber X from the A/P, only Uber Black. The pax has 3 choices besides taxis: Uber Black (which pays the same $4 surcharge as taxis) or the two options I outlined in my previous post.
 

Screwber69

Member
You obviously haven't downloaded or used the Rider's app or you would know that you can not ping Uber X from the A/P, only Uber Black. The pax has 3 choices besides taxis: Uber Black (which pays the same $4 surcharge as taxis) or the two options I outlined in my previous post.
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt but you are mistaken in your assumptions, yes I do have the rider app and I have received two requests from Lambert and one from Lambert that showed the address as aerospace drive. So point of fact your assumption are incorrect as I was driving X not the other platforms.
 

Clean Diesel

Active Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
Cindy is correct. You physically can't summon a ride from inside the airport. You can set the pin outside the airport. That's the workaround.
 

cindym

Well-Known Member
Aerospace Drive is not Lambert, it is on the south side of 70.

Open the app right now and try to place a pin at the airport, you can't. You can at the Metrolink station, and other close properties, but not at the airport.
 
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Kurtstl

Member
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt but you are mistaken in your assumptions, yes I do have the rider app and I have received two requests from Lambert and one from Lambert that showed the address as aerospace drive. So point of fact your assumption are incorrect as I was driving X not the other platforms.
Cindy is correct. You physically can't summon a ride from inside the airport. You can set the pin outside the airport. That's the workaround.
Indeed- she is ALWAYS correct. Just ask her
 

BentleyK9

Active Member
I have not done an AP drop off in a long time, but I have slowed down on my days driving. But... When PAX ask about the airport or general questions about UBER in St Louis, I will mention the AP pickups are not allowed at this time, but tip.. take the shuttle bus over to the Marriot or Hilton then summon the UBER from there. Little bit of a hassle but if they want UBER service that is the trick to do it.
 

Kurtstl

Member
I was even thinking bigger and crazier like wandering around the pick up area with a giant sign that says "wouldnt you rather Uber?" Or having some sort of rally in front of the Taxi commision or a march on the state house... I dunno Im just spitballing here
 
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