ST. LOUIS • All it took for conservative Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder to align with St. Louis hipsters was "a couple of sedans adorned with fuzzy pink mustaches."
That's what Kinder says in an op-ed printed in this week's The St. Louis Evening Whirl.
"I have watched social media as this issue has emboldened libertarians, conservatives, hipsters and liberals alike, myself included," Kinder wrote. "I think that's indicative of the thirst for a transportation alternative like Lyft."
Kinder added: "I think we can all agree the city must embrace startups like Lyft that harness the free market with bold and sustainable ideas driven by the demand to choose."
Lyft, a mobile app that connects drivers with riders, entered the St. Louis market last month. It was quickly sued by the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, whose members are appointed by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and County Executive Charlie Dooley.
On Tuesday, a St. Louis judge kept in place a temporary restraining order barring Lyft from operating in the city. A full hearing is scheduled on the matter later this month.
The commission, which includes cab drivers and cab company owners, says that Lyft should be held to the same standards as regulated cabs in the region . They have also raised public safety issues. Lyft responds that it operates outside of traditional cabs and has strong safeguards.
Mayor Francis Slay has said the city is being open minded and will work with Lyft. His administration has also been in talks with Lyft rival Uber, which could soon enter the St. Louis market if the taxi commission approves.