The future of ridesharing services coming to Buffalo just took a hit. According to New York State Senator Chris Jacobs (60th SD), New York Assembly’s new ridesharing legislation is a “major step backwards”. The new legislation calls for “ridesharing providers to carry three times as much insurance coverage as for hire vehicles in New York City.” This is absurd and outrageous.
The required coverage increases to ten times the level required downstate when ridesharing drivers have a passenger.
“This is not a ridesharing bill, instead it is a bill to kill the efforts to get ridesharing across New York State,” said Jacobs. “This legislation includes incredibly burdensome insurance provisions, the highest ridesharing taxes in the nation and unworkable regulations that would completely undermine the ability of ridesharing to work in Upstate and Western New York,” the Senator added.
Not only would ridesharing providers have to carry three times the insurance coverage, The Assembly bill would also have each local municipality design its own ridesharing regulations, according to Jacobs.
“If this isn’t an effort to kill ridesharing I don’t know what is,” said Jacobs. “We have 23 municipalities just in Erie County, if each one has its own rules and regulations that would make ridesharing completely unworkable.”
The State Senate passed a ridesharing bill last month and the Governor included ridesharing in his proposed budget. Jacobs urged the Assembly to go back and pass a reasonable and workable bill.
“The convoluted regulatory framework, punitive taxes and insurance fees in the current Assembly bill will only ensure Buffalo and Western New York will still hold the embarrassing title as one of the few places in the country that does not have ridesharing,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs also pointed out that he thinks that there is a good chance that ride sharing will still happen in Buffalo. The bill was “put in”, but it was wasn’t passed. There is still plenty of support for ridesharing, including the Governor’s office, so we need to keep pressing on until we win the good fight.
All we can say here at Buffalo Rising is, “WTF?”