Senate passes bill to bring ride-sharing to upstate NY

Katie Baranyuk gets out of a car driven by Dara Jenkins a driver for the ride-sharing service Lyft after getting a ride to downtown Seattle

Senate passes bill to bring ride-sharing to upstate NY

"That is why I was proud to co-sponsor and vote for legislation today to bring ride-sharing services to Western New York". The reality is that gun safety laws are only effective when they provide the same vital protections across the state - not only in New York City.

The Assembly will soon take up the bill, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) told reporters earlier 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. It requires criminal and driving history background checks, passenger notifications of driver information and trip charges, and the adoption of non-discrimination and zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policies.

The bill is also supposed to create a new TNC Accessibility Task Force to identify and address barriers to and opportunities for greater access for New Yorkers of all abilities, and includes TNC drivers in workers' compensation insurance offered through the existing Black Car Fund, among other provisions. Additionally, it does not subject rides to the 4-percent state sales tax. State Sen. Tim Kennedy, a western New York Democrat, said Buffalo is the largest city in the USA where ridesharing isn't available.

The bill was more of a symbolic vote, since the Assembly will have its own proposal and Cuomo has already released his own.

Seward's bill includes a 2 percent tax.

The president of the Upstate Transportation Association - which represents taxi drivers - says the Senate passage was a "waste of time".

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