Lane Changer for Upstate

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft will become legal in upstate New York this summer, but what will this actually mean for consumers?

Andrew Hawkins, a transportation writer for The Verge, talked about some possible outcomes and explained how the 90-day rulemaking period will be critical in determining what takes shape north of the five boroughs. He also provided background on the unique circumstances that made ride-hailing possible in New York City and highlighted the challenges of serving rural communities.

Bonus: If you listen carefully you might learn the difference between ride-hailing and ride-sharing services!

Continue reading “Lane Changer for Upstate”

Assembly Dems and Ridesharing: Take 2

Assembly Democrats have staked out a new bargaining position in the negotiations to bring ridesharing to upstate New York.

Late on Friday night, Assemblyman Kevin Cahill introduced a bill that would allow companies like Uber and Lyft to operate north of New York City. Cahill, who chairs the Assembly Insurance Committee, was seen as trying to sabotage the expansion in 2016 and his new bill adds additional caveats that haven’t been proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo or the Senate Republicans.

A key provision of the Assembly bill deals with local control for municipalities. The bill would “authorize localities to regulate TNC vehicles and drivers in the same manner as they are currently authorized to regulate taxicabs and liveries,” according the bill memorandum.

As reported, the bill also imposes sales tax on rides with companies like Uber and Lyft. The proposal would generate revenue for local municipalities, who likely wouldn’t see the same benefits from the governor’s plan.

Cahill’s proposal also requires the TNC company to pay for criminal background checks and forbids passing those costs to the applicants.

Upon the request of a municipality, ridesharing companies must provide information about pick-ups and drop-offs, including locations, dates and times.

It’s also interesting to note the timing of the bill, which was introduced in time for the Assembly to pass it on Monday. It might be too soon to assume this bill can pass the chamber though, as Cahill’s bill from last year died in the committee process when it was taken off the Insurance Committee’s agenda after failing to generate enough support during a June meeting.

The Senate Republicans passed ridesharing legislation earlier this year.