Buffalo lawmakers push to allow ridesharing

Buffalo Lawmakers Push To Allow Ride Sharing

Buffalo, NY – There is yet another push to bring ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft to Buffalo – something many people have said they want.
 
On Tuesday, city lawmakers proposed changes to a city ordinance that would make it easier for ride sharing to come here. But, the move, at this point, is a symbolic act, since state lawmakers are those who will decide whether the expansion should happen or not. 
 
"What we're doing is we're looking to be a part of the process what I'm basically doing is getting ahead of the curve so that if for example on April 1st New York says ridesharing is legal in Buffalo hopefully by then we would have all of this information in place," said Buffalo Common Council Member Joe Golombek. 
 
In order to approve ridesharing outside New York City, state insurance law needs to change.
 
Last session in Albany, the Republican-controlled Senate got a bill to the floor requiring ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft to have a $1 million in insurance coverage for ride sharing drivers. 
 
"This had bipartisan support in the Senate my expectation is that it would have bipartisan support in the Assembly," said state senator Tim Kennedy.
 
2 On Your Side spoke to Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes. She sits on the Assembly Insurance Committee, which worked on a bill last session that would mandate a higher insurance coverage for drivers -- $1.5 million dollars.
 
"I would say the inability to compromise where two competing bills passed, one in the assembly and one in the senate," she said. 
 
2 On Your Side looked up the bill she says passed the assembly.
 
REPORTER: I'm not seeing that it went to the floor though? 
 
"Well, it did go out of the committee and because there were competing bills it did not go to the floor," she said. 
 
So for the record, the bill she said passed the Assembly, actually passed out of the insurance committee she sits on, but didn't go to the full assembly for a vote.
 
REPORTER: Why didn't it go to the floor this time around?
 
"I'm not the chair I'm not the speaker you have to ask them that question," she said. 
 
REPORTER: When you hear from them, what do they tell you?
 
"They say there are other members of our conference who have competing bills and they have to marry them," Peoples-Stokes said, " It's upstate versus downstate pretty much." 
 
REPORTER: This upcoming session what is going to happen in terms of ridesharing with the democratic caucus are you guys going to band together and try to get ridesharing done? 
 
"Yes, I don't know if we're going to agree with senate republicans but I know we're going to band together and get ridesharing done in the assembly? There will be a compromised bill yes."
 
You can bet we'll stay on top of state lawmakers to see if they actually follow through on that and come up with something that could be agreed to.
 
The state legislature reconvenes in January
 
 


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