State Senator Patty Ritchie is applauding Senate passage of a measure she supported that would bring ride-sharing to Upstate New York and in turn, expand transportation options for people, especially in rural communities, as well as boost the economy.
Under the measure (S.4159), Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Lyft and Uber would be permitted to operate outside New York City.
The measure approved by the Senate differs from the Executive Budget proposal by cutting taxes to be paid by ride-sharing customers to make it more attractive for businesses to operate Upstate.
While the Executive Budget includes a 5.5 percent tax on rides that begin outside of New York City, the Senate’s legislation cuts that tax to two percent and does not subject rides to the 4 percent state sales taxes.
New revenue generated would be dedicated to infrastructure improvements for roads, bridges and other county transit improvements.
“In many communities in our region, transportation options are limited, leaving people without safe, reliable ways to get where they need to go,” said Senator Ritchie. “People in nearly every other state,and in New York City, have access to ride-sharing and for Upstate New York to be left behind is simply unfair. I am pleased that the Senate has approved this legislation, which will help to create more transportation options for people in the region I represent and beyond, as well as boost economies and create jobs.”
In addition, the measure also includes key protections for drivers and consumers, such as 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 legislation also creates a new “TNC Accessibility Task Force,” which would work 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.