Joined by advocates, statewide stakeholders pushing for ridesharing in upstate & Long Island
Following a press conference in Albany on Tuesday, GOP Assemblyman Raymond Walter (Amherst) and GOP Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (Ballston) have introduced legislation that would allow Transportation Network Companies (TNC) such as Uber and Lyft to provide ridesharing services statewide. Currently, these companies are only allowed to legally operate in New York City.
Walter and Walsh were joined and supported by fellow Assembly colleagues, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, CenterState CEO, Niagara USA Chamber, Visit Buffalo Niagara and Saratoga County Sheriff Michael H. Zurlo.
"We were joined today by stakeholders from all across the state to talk about the significant benefits of Transportation Networking Companies like Uber and Lyft being able to operate statewide. The message is clear: New York needs ridesharing now," Walter said. "These companies are providing a service that connects people to people, people to businesses, and businesses to other businesses. Bringing ridesharing to upstate New York will help boost upstate New York's economy while also helping to make our roads safer. I hope my colleagues in the Assembly will pass this legislation in a bipartisan fashion so we can finally allow ridesharing statewide."
"Ridesharing isn't an upstate versus downstate issue. It's an issue that creates jobs, bolsters local businesses, provides safe and inexpensive transportation and helps make our roads safer," Walsh said. "That's something all New Yorkers should rally around and support. As a mother, I worry about the safety of my children on our roadways. Services such as Uber and Lyft would help give me and other parents some much-needed peace of mind."
"Ridesharing is a service that could benefit Western New York in a positive way," Assemblyman Angelo Morinello said. "It is a service built on providing reliable, cheap and safe transportation for millions across the country, and is responsible for creating thousands of new jobs. It is important we bring this service to the residents of Western New York, not only for its economic and safety benefits, but also for our tourism community. Ridesharing will allow us to keep pace with other tourist destinations in the state and country."
Richard Mallow, New York State executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said, "Mothers Against Drunk Driving asks everyone to have a plan to get home from a party, an evening out with a loved one safely - whether that is a nondrinking designated driver or a ride sharing service. Ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft saves lives! It gives people an additional way to get home safely. We thank Assemblyman Walter and Assemblywoman Walsh for their help in advocating for common-sense legislation."
Patrick Kaler, president and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, said, "Buffalo is reaching new heights as a visitor destination, with restored architectural gems, a redeveloped waterfront and more attractions, hotels and restaurants than ever before. But ridesharing is a missing piece in the puzzle for providing an impeccable experience to first-time visitors. We applaud the initiative of Assemblyman Walter, Gov. Cuomo and other members of the Western New York delegation to address this critical need in our tourism industry and keep Buffalo competitive as a destination."
Deanna Alterio Brennen, president and CEO of the Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce, said, "In Niagara County, we attract visitors from all over the world, and one of the biggest surprises to them is that we do not have the convenience of ride sharing like in so many other areas. With all of the new development in the Buffalo Niagara Region, it only makes sense to make our transportation options catch up to the progress we have seen in other areas. We would not ignore other advancements to improve our region, so why shouldn't we have this one?"