For Greater Prosperity & Public Safety, New Yorkers Deserve Ride-Sharing Now

In the near future, Upstate New Yorkers will finally be able to enjoy the convenience of ride-sharing services like those provided by Uber and Lyft. For years these services were only available in New York City. The overdue expansion of ride-sharing is a measure I proudly supported, along with my colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference.
 
Ride-sharing services, widely praised for their convenience and lauded by law enforcement as a way to combat drunk driving, will be available everywhere in New York later this summer. However, I fully support making ride-sharing available prior to the July 4th holiday weekend.
 
PUT AN END TO UPSTATE’S WAITING GAME
 
Legislation (A.7624) has been introduced in the Assembly that would speed up the implementation of ride-sharing throughout Upstate, offering safe, reliable transportation options during a peak holiday period. The Senate passed the bill earlier this week. I hope the Assembly Majority follows suit and brings the bill to the floor as soon as possible. When we consider the legislation in our house, I strongly encourage my colleagues to vote in favor of expediting these services in the name of public safety and local economies.
 
Bringing Uber and Lyft to areas outside of New York City carries tremendous economic rewards and public safety benefits. Speeding up ride-sharing’s implementation before a busy holiday weekend is important, especially when tourism, traffic and festivities will be on the rise across the state. To help curtail incidents of drinking and driving, we must provide individuals with this long-awaited transportation option.
 
TIMING IS EVERYTHING FOR RIDE-SHARING’S LONG-AWAITED BENEFITS 
 
Until the recent passage of ride-sharing legislation, Buffalo was the only city in America to have a National Football League team, but not have ride-sharing available to residents and visitors. Its expedited arrival will be a boon for Upstate’s lagging economy at the most opportune time. 
 
Uber estimates that by delivering its services to operations outside of New York City, the company will create 13,000 jobs in Upstate New York within the first year. In addition, Uber drivers have the potential to earn nearly $80 million in the first year of operations. From a public safety perspective, a study by Temple University found that cities with ride-sharing have 3.6 - 5.6 percent fewer drunk driving fatalities than those without.  
 
Like any year, July 4th celebrations will be marked with festivities, parties, and an increased number of patrons to bars and restaurants. It is only logical that the implementation of ride-sharing aligns with the needs of communities and embraces the economic opportunity in front of us. Albany must advance this common-sense bill that requires little change, but will bring about enormous benefits for New Yorkers.
 
What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at kolbb@nyassembly.gov, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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