Community organizations, businesses, and civic leaders join call to bring Internet-based transportation options back to upstate New York
ALBANY, NY – On Monday, the Internet Association joined the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, Visit Buffalo-Niagara, and the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired to launch the “New Yorkers for Ridesharing” coalition and call for state legislators to bring Internet-based ridesharing platforms back to upstate New York. The Internet Association, which represents America’s leading Internet companies, highlighted the impact ridesharing would have on local economies in addition to improving transportation options for people living upstate.
“Ridesharing is beloved by consumers who need a convenient, safe ride and those looking to earn extra money working for themselves,” said Noah Theran, Head of Public Affairs, Internet Association. “New York State must affirm that it welcomes innovation, competition, and user choice in transportation. New Yorkers demand access to the same innovative transportation options available to residents of 28 states and countless cities across the country.”
Ridesharing uses Internet-based platforms to connect drivers with people in need of a ride. Drivers use their own cars and are connected with passengers through a variety of apps that operate in hundreds of cities and towns nationwide. It provides an inexpensive, safe way for people to get around by car on their own schedules and can be a useful source of flexible, part-time income for anyone with a clean driving record and a car. For local business owners, it brings in customers who would not otherwise be able to access their services, generating additional revenue.
The coalition calls for legislators to implement a comprehensive statewide regulatory framework that would allow Transportation Network Companies to operate and permit drivers to obtain the insurance necessary to use ridesharing platforms upstate.
Mary Boland, Director of Communications and Community Relations for the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, said, “Ridesharing would make a huge difference in the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired in New York. It would enable them to have greater independence and gain more control of their schedules. It’s time that we brought ridesharing to New York and helped level the playing field for everyone who lives here.”
Patrick Kaler, President & CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, said, “Ridesharing would help New York’s tourism industry put its best foot forward and increase opportunities for local business owners. Ridesharing platforms help visitors enjoy our local restaurants, shop at our local business and get to know the region that we love. Let’s make sure New York isn’t left behind and bring this important service to our communities.”
Robert Simpson, President of CenterState CEO, said, “Transportation innovations such as ride-sharing have the potential to fill service gaps and create more adaptive and innovative transportation options for our community,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “Ride-sharing programs provide greater options for workers, visitors, students and residents alike. For Central New York to advance itself as a forward thinking and progressive community we must be open to new ideas and opportunities.”
One ridesharing app, Lyft, operated in Rochester and Buffalo for a short period in 2014. During that time, the platform provided over 1,000 rides per week in each community.
Support for ridesharing has grown considerably in recent weeks and months, with the Assembly Standing Committees on Insurance, Transportation, Cities, and Local Governments holding roundtable discussions on ridesharing in October and a Senate discussion scheduled for Thursday, November 19.
For more information about New Yorkers for Ridesharing, and to read testimonials from drivers and riders from across New York State, please visit http://ridesharingny.com/
About the Internet Association
The Internet Association, the unified voice of the Internet economy, represents the interests of the leading Internet companies including Airbnb, Amazon, Auction.com, Coinbase, Dropbox, eBay, Etsy, Expedia, Facebook, Fanduel, Gilt, Google, Groupon, Handy, IAC, Intuit, LinkedIn, Lyft, Monster Worldwide, Netflix, Pandora, PayPal, Pinterest, Practice Fusion, Rackspace, reddit, Salesforce.com, Sidecar, Snapchat, SurveyMonkey, TripAdvisor, Twitter, Uber Technologies, Inc., Yahoo!, Yelp, Zenefits, and Zynga. The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect Internet freedom, foster innovation and economic growth, and empower users. www.InternetAssociation.org.
About New Yorkers for Ridesharing
New Yorkers for Ridesharing is a coalition of community organizations, businesses, civic organizations, advocates, regular citizens, and more calling for affordable, reliable, and safe transportation alternatives for Central, Upstate, and Western New York. Internet-based ridesharing platforms can fill important gaps for residents where public transportation is limited or unreliable and serve as a flexible source of income for cash-strapped New Yorkers. New Yorkers for Ridesharing is calling on state legislators to allow these innovative services to operate in New York State as they already do in hundreds of cities and towns across the country. The time for ridesharing is now!