City presenting analysis on ride sharing services such as Uber

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COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia will present the Columbia City Council with a high level analysis of differences between ride sharing companies, such as Uber, and traditional taxi services at Monday night's council meeting. The Jefferson City Council is expected to discuss ride sharing services Monday as well. 

Columbia's deputy city manager, Tony St. Romaine, said the city sent out a survey to local taxi companies to give them the chance to weigh in on current, potentially outdated, aspects of taxi regulations.

Terry Nickerson, of Taxi Terry's, said he has no problem with ride sharing companies expanding to Columbia. He said he just wants everyone to abide by the same rules and regulations.

"If Uber comes in and gets established, then we have to up our game to keep our clients happy and satisfied," Nickerson said. "We have to tighten up what we do. We have no problem with it. It just has to be an even playing field."   

St. Romaine said Monday's meeting is purely informational and will allow council members time to think things over before any ordinances are proposed. The report will detail the differences and similarities in how the different companies operate. 

Nickerson said he would like to see the city give ride sharing operators the same background check taxi drivers go through as well as requiring them to have a business license through the city and a vehicle check by the city.  

St. Romaine said these are all things the city is considering. 

The city will present the council with an ordinance regarding ride sharing businesses at the council meeting Feb. 1.

Jefferson City Counselor Drew Hilpert said Jefferson City wants ride sharing companies to operate the same way taxi companies do. He said this will pose a problem for companies such as Uber, which has a business plan at odds with current regulations.