Business & Finance

Ride-Hailing Bill Passes through Senate

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State Sen. Terrence Murphy is all smiles after voting a bill that would bring Uber and Lyft to Westchester. Credits: Photo Courtesy of Senator Murphy's Office
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ALBANY, N.Y.— A bill that would allow Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services to operate in the Hudson Valley passed through the New York State Senate last week.

The senate bill, approved 55-5, would amend various state laws and create a task force to establish, regulate and provide proper insurance for transportation network companies and drivers. Currently, these companies are only allowed to operate in New York City.

Sen. Terrence Murphy, whose district includes Somers, said he supported the bill because it provides affordable transportation options, reduces drunk driving incidents, curbs air pollution and also offers job opportunities to New Yorkers.

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“Ride-sharing has the potential to be of great benefit to the economic health of local communities,” Murphy said. “Through the use of mobile phone apps, local transportation network companies, like Uber and Lyft, will be able to respond to connect riders with transportation that matches their specific needs.”

Bill S4159, sponsored by Senate Insurance Committee Chairman James L. Seward, will now head to the Assembly for approval. Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, whose district includes Mahopac, said he will vote to approve the bill.

“I’m delighted to see that the Senate has passed ride-sharing services for all of New York State,” Byrne said. “I applaud my colleagues for successfully pushing this proposal through in their house. I will continue to push for statewide ridesharing in the Assembly and will urge that tax dollars derived from this service go to support local transit.”

The Senate-approved bill differs from the proposed in Gov. Cuomo’s executive budget. While the executive budget includes a tax of 5.5 percent on rides that begin outside of New York City, the Senate’s measure cuts that tax to 2 percent and does not subject rides to the 4 percent state sales tax.

Read the full bill online (legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2017/S4159).

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