Episode 13: Umar Lee – The Future Great City podcast by nextSTL

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In this episode we speak with Umar Lee of St. Louis, an activist, author, and former cab driver. Lee became known to many during the 2014 protests in Ferguson following the killing of Michael Brow. He was also a vocal presence during the debate surrounding the entry of ride sharing services in St. Louis such as Lyft and Uber.

We spoke with Lee about his upbringing in North St. Louis County, how things have changed, and how in some ways the scene has been set for years for unrest. Regarded by many to be a controversial figure, Lee’s critique of the region is clearly a product of his love for St. Louis. In the podcast we touch on Lee’s conversion to Islam, his time away from St. Louis including a stint in New York, and his return to St. Louis, and why he often rails against “Hipsters” on social media.

Umar can be found on Twitter @penofumar.

The Future Great City podcast by nextSTL is sponsored by Creatives on Call and Red Brick Realty.

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  • I’d need to look into the positives and negatives more (both for the drivers and the taxi companies), but I know that in Chicago there is an UberCab option, where licensed taxi drivers can do pick-ups through the app. It seems to allow taxis to play on a more even playing field (i.e. hails AND requests) in the face of the ever-increasing Uber “fleet”.

    Personally, I find myself using the UberCab option more than UberX. Then again, there are so many taxis running around in Chicago, I can usually just stick my hand out and get one within four minutes.