NY Senate votes to accelerate start of upstate Uber, Lyft

Joanna Estrada
May 19, 2017

The legalization of ride-hailing services in state municipalities outside New York City was approved as part of New York State's 2017-18 budget.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Uber and Lyft may be coming to upstate NY in time for the Fourth of July. House Bill 100 would preempt regulations on the so-called transportation network companies in cities like Austin.

"Texas passed statewide ridesharing rules and we'll be back in Austin once Gov. Abbott signs the bill into law!" Ride-sharing was pushed until July 9th.

"An environment that allows rideshare companies to operate across the state will help create more earning opportunities and improve mobility options in both big cities and rural areas in Texas", said Trevor Theunissen, Public Affairs Lead for Uber Texas.

Lyft commends the Alaska legislature for passing this important legislation. Both ride-hailing providers left after last year's Prop 1 referendum, which upheld the city's use of fingerprint-based background checks.

Uber and Lyft representatives have said that, regardless of such language in the bill, their own policies prohibit drivers from discriminating against passengers based on sexual orientation or identity.

In a statement to the media Wednesday, Mayor Steve Adler said he was disappointed state lawmakers chose to undo the will of Austin voters.

"Our city should be proud of how we filled the gap created when Uber and Lyft left", he said in a statement, "and we now must hope that they return ready to compete in a way that reflects Austin's values". The bill's Senate author, Sen. Don Huffines (R-Greenville) questioned Georgetown Republican Sen.

"This is one of the busiest tourism weekends of the year and both residents and visitors to NY state will greatly benefit", said Sen.

Drivers who work for the company must have photo identification of themselves and their vehicle available in the app.

Critics of the companies and municipal officials said state rules would erode public safety protections and have other consequences.

The bill passed Wednesday retains a sentence, added in the House, that defines the word "sex" in a nondiscrimination section as "the physical condition of being male or female".

The Senate preserved that language. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio.

"I think with any change-and this is an innovative change for transportation-there's going to be some concerns", Costello said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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