In January, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a new legislative proposal that would increase access to ridesharing services throughout New York. Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have successfully operated in New York City over the last several years, but have faced roadblocks in other parts of New York State.
“Ridesharing is bringing transportation into the 21st century and we are committed to ensuring that it becomes a reality statewide,” Governor Cuomo shared. “It provides economic opportunity and a cost-effective alternative to transportation, and we must ensure that all residents outside of New York City have access to its benefits. This action will spur economic development across upstate and further position our upstate cities as cities of the 21st century.”
However, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. is opposed to the Governor’s ridesharing proposal and believes local governments should remain in control of regulating ridesharing services as some East End local governments already do – East Hampton adopted regulations in 2015 that made it incredibly difficult for drivers with Uber to operate there.
“I fully support ridesharing and the enactment of the necessary amendments to the State Insurance Law that would permit these services,” Assemblyman Thiele stated. “There is a great demand for these services and the law should permit them. However, one size does not fit all.”
If the proposal was passed, ridesharing would be governed solely by State law and local governments would be unable to regulate ridesharing, except in regards to local traffic and parking control.
“There are different issues in a large and diverse State like New York. The issues regarding ridesharing in a seasonal community such as the East End are very different than the issues faced in Buffalo at the airport,” Assemblyman Thiele added. “Local government should have the authority to address these issues, just as they currently do with taxi and livery services. There should be a level playing field. I am hopeful that in 2017 we can facilitate ridesharing in New York State while still recognizing the particular needs of different communities.”