Editorial Board

New York leaders must compromise to legalize ride-hailing services this summer

Emmy Gnat | Head Illustrator

It’s astounding that New York politicians have not been able to come to terms on ride-hailing services when leaders in every other state have. Now, the only way services like Uber and Lyft will be permitted outside of New York City is through the much-needed collaboration of state assembly representatives, senators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo, the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate have each introduced separate plans to approach the expansion of ride-hailing services in the state. New York is the only state in the United States that has not permitted the services statewide, as the services are only legal in the five boroughs of New York City. State leaders seem adamant about legalizing the services across New York, but differ in the approach to implementing them.

While the governor’s plan may differ with the separate bills proposed by the assembly and senate, and vice versa, the three entities will need to eventually compromise on a final bill that would legalize the ride-hailing services across the state. This negotiation should be done sooner than later, since the bill would require approval before being included in Cuomo’s budget, which is due April 1. Should the bill be included in the budget, ride-hailing services could begin operation statewide on July 1.

While there are certainly complexities in how to implement these services and whether localities or the state should have greater authority in implementation, the bottom line is that state leaders must come together to prioritize finding a solution that works best for the constituents they represent — New Yorkers who want access to ride-hailing services no matter where they live.

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