NYS Senate Passes Bill to Bring Uber and Lyft Upstate


By Staff


uberThe New York State Senate has passed a bill to approve ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate in Upstate New York.

Legislators in the Senate voted 53 to 5 in support of the bill Feb. 6.

“Ride-sharing will mean more jobs, safer roads, and better transit options for my community, and those like it across Upstate,” Sen. Rich Funke, R-Rochester, stated.

Uber and Lyft currently only operate in New York City and other parts of the country, and the Senate’s proposal would allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to regulate the services to operate throughout the rest of the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also introduced a ride-sharing proposal, as part of his state budget this legislative session, however the governor’s proposal includes a 5.5 percent tax on all rides, as opposed to the 2 percent tax in the Senate proposal.

Uber and Lyft supporters pushed for the ride-sharing services to expand into Upstate New York recently; however, a similar bill the Senate put forward last year failed to pass in the State Assembly.

The Upstate Transportation Association has also spoken out against the expansion, criticizing the state’s failure to require finger-print and background checks for Uber drivers.

The organization released the following statement regarding the Senate’s proposal:

“By refusing to support fingerprint background checks, the senators who approved this bill have gone soft on public safety, tarnished their legislative records, and capitulated to Uber’s high-priced lobbyists,” association president John Tomassi stated.

The Assembly is slated to vote on the proposal next, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, told reporters Monday he’s hopeful state legislators will come to an agreement over the matter.

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