By LILY WILSON
On Monday, the New York State Senate passed a bill to bring ridesharing to communities outside of New York City and improve local economies. The bill, S4159, was sponsored by Senate Insurance Committee Chairman James L. Seward and provides framework for ridesharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft to expand their operations outside of New York City. This bill will help create new jobs by offering safe, reliable transportation options to residents and visitors outside of New York City.
“Ridesharing has the potential to be of great benefit to the economic health of local communities,” said Senator Murphy. “Through the use of mobile phone apps, local Transportation Network Companies, like Uber and Lyft, will be able respond to connect riders with transportation that matches their specific needs. The participating companies will also provide affordable transportation options to underserved areas, offer job opportunities for drivers, reduce the incidence of drunk driving, ease traffic congestion and help in the effort to curb air pollution.”
This Senate bill differs from others by significantly cutting the taxes to be paid by ride-share customers to make it more attractive for businesses to operate here. While the previous Executive Budget includes a tax of 5.5 percent on rides that begin outside of New York City, the Senate’s measure cuts that tax to 2 percent and does not subject rides to the 4 percent state sales tax. That new revenue made from this would go directly towards infrastructure improvements for roads, bridges, and county transit needs.
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