From the President’s Desk: Allow Ride Sharing Services in Upstate NY

Due to a restriction in the New York State insurance Law, ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft have been outlawed. However, New York City has been granted an exception and ride sharing services operate lawfully there. If it’s good for New York City, why isn’t it good for all of upstate?

Uber has been a proven success and continues to grow in popularity in every major city across the country. The popularity of ride sharing services is even higher among college students. With easy access to transportation and a very high population of college students in the region, ride sharing services would help business and commerce growth in Binghamton and Upstate New York.

There is also a significant safety concern to take into consideration as well. Upstate New York has over 15% more DWI arrests than New York City. While we cannot make a direct correlation between rates of DWI arrests in New York City and the presence of ride sharing services, the ease of using the app and the quickness in which the ride actually shows up, can only help. For these reasons the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police recently urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to approve ride sharing services for the sake of public safety.

Last year the holdup in allowing ride sharing services is with the NY State legislature. Ride sharing services require a type of group insurance that currently isn’t allowed in New York. New York State Senate passed a bill that would have amended the insurance law to allow ride sharing services in Upstate New York. This bill did not pass in the Assembly due to a variety of issues including not being able to regulate the service up to their standards.

I would like to thank our local elected officials for their continued support on passing legislation. With their support in both the Senate and Assembly, we have a much better chance of ride sharing services being enacted in 2017.

We are constantly making an effort to attract people and give off a vibe that Upstate New York and the Greater Binghamton region is up and coming and really forward thinking. However not keeping up with the times and approving ride sharing services gives the opposite impression.

For the safety of Upstate New York, and the future growth of our region, we urge all of you to tell New York State to approve Uber, Lyft and other ride sharing services in 2017!

Jennifer Conway
President & CEO
Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce

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