Senate passes bill that brings ride-sharing business to Upstate New York

New York State Senate Expected to Take up New Ride-sharing Bill on Monday

Uber and similar ride-hailing companies are only authorized to operate in New York City under current state law, but a push to expand those services statewide has gained steam over the past year. Business executives, college students, and everyone in between utilize ride-sharing apps when visiting cities around the nation and upstate NY riders should be not be left at the curb. Lawmakers had disagreed over insurance requirements.

Uber previously operated in Anchorage from September 2014 to March 2015, when a judge ordered the company to either continue offering its rides for free, comply with all local taxi rules or cease operations.

The bill also creates a new TNC Accessibility Task Force to identify and address barriers to and opportunities for greater access for New Yorkers of all abilities.

In a statement Seward said ridesharing "delivers economic, environmental, and public safety benefits and is long overdue".

The bill will be sent to the Assembly. Uber says it already conducts background checks and that fingerprinting isn't necessary. "As Governor Cuomo has said - when it comes to ridesharing, what's good for downstate is good for upstate".

The Republican-led Senate approved the bill Monday. State Sen. Tim Kennedy, a western New York Democrat, said Buffalo is the largest city in the USA where ridesharing isn't available.

Now the legislation has to pass the Assembly.

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