ALBANY, N.Y. -- In Albany, a bill to bring ridesharing to Upstate New York will come to the State Senate Monday.
The bill sponsored by Senate Insurance Committee Chairman James Seward provides the framework for ridesharing companies to expand outside of New York City.
“I look forward to advancing this comprehensive bill that will allow Uber, Lyft and similar companies to begin operating outside of New York City," Seward said in a statement. "...This bill delivers economic, environmental, and public safety benefits and is long overdue.”
Now the Senate bill differs from the executive budget proposal by significantly cutting the taxes for ridesharing customers.
The hope is that it will make it more attractive for those businesses to operate.
The measure also includes important protections for the drivers and the riders in the framework, including background checks for drivers.
However, the bill does not include a fingerprinting mandate for drivers as part of the background check process, said John Tomassi, President of the Upstate Transportation Association, in a statement.
"It is appalling to see Senate Republicans go soft on public safety and push Uber to operate upstate without the same fingerprint background checks that already protect ridesharing passengers in New York City," Tomassi said. "“When Uber’s promises on driver earnings don’t come true, New Yorkers will look at the lawmakers who rushed a flawed bill and replaced full-time jobs with a gig economy that doesn’t feed families."
Howver, the bill's real battle could still come in the State Assembly.