Last Monday, the State Senate approved a bill to permit ride hailing services such as Uber and Lyft to operate outside of New York City. The Senate’s bill would impose a 2% tax on ride hails, 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.  It would also create a Transportation Network Company (TNC) Accessibility Task Force to identify and address barriers to and opportunities for increasing TNC access to persons with disabilities.

As part of his Executive Budget proposal, the Governor has proposed legalizing ride hailing statewide, subject to a 5.5% tax in addition to the state’s 4% sales tax.

It is simply unconscionable that ride hailing services are not permitted outside of New York City. We need Albany to put in place a workable regulatory framework that allows ride hailing services to operate throughout the state. This is an issue of job creation, road safety and economic fairness for Upstate communities.