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NY Senate passes ride-sharing bill

February 07, 2017 09:47 AM

ALBANY – Companies like Uber and Lyft have been operating in New York City since 2009. Now with the Senate's nod, the idea of ride-sharing moves to the Assembly. But what will the cost per ride come to?

“The problem with that is it makes it prohibitively expensive because that's a whole different market,” said Sen. James Seward (R-51st District), chair of the Senate Insurance Committee. He says his bill is good economically – more jobs – environmentally – fewer cars on the road – and, after Super Bowl Sunday, just smart.

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"It's a safe way for people to get home after a night of revelry by being able to go on their phone through an app and be able to get a safe ride home,” Seward said.

"This is a case, you cannot only call it parity and equity with downstate opportunities, I think you can call it what's good for the goose is good for the gander,” said Sen. Jim Tedisco (R-49th District). “And the goose is New York City and they get ride sharing way ahead of us. And we get this delay. It's long overdue."

Passing 55-5, it has backing from the Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, Buffalo and the Southern Tier. In its language, the bill points to aiding executives, tourists and college students and brings a business that is worldwide to upstate. It also creates a task force that would look to service for the disabled and calls for stringent background checks of those doing the driving.

"Make sure that they have clean driving records and clean criminal records,” Seward said.

“We're going to ask our constituents to call their Assembly members on both sides of the aisle and say the Senate has done their job, now it's time for the Assembly to do its job and the Governor to sign it,” said Tedisco.

The governor has asked for it during his budget and State of the State briefings. The legislation provides for the permitting of transportation network companies by the DMV and the permitting of drivers by those companies. The bill was sent to the Assembly.

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WNYT Staff

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