FutureStructure

New York Lawmakers Finalize Upstate Uber Agreement

Mayors from the big upstate cities wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressing their support for the ride-hailing apps and outlining why they are needed in their respective cities.

by Patrick Lohmann, Syracuse Media Group, N.Y. / March 31, 2017
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(TNS) -- ALBANY, N.Y. -- State lawmakers are saying they've reached a "tentative" agreement that would bring ride-booking apps like Uber and Lyft to Upstate New York by the summer, according to news reports.

The details are still being finalized, lawmakers told new outlets, and the agreement won't be official until the state budget is complete.

But the agreement, if it comes together, would end a years-long battle that has left Upstate New York one of the only regions in the country without access to the apps.

Lawmakers said counties and big Upstate cities like Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester would have the power to prevent the apps from operating within their borders. That's a concession to a proposal from the New York State Assembly, which passed a bill granting all localities the power to prohibit the apps.

However, just two weeks ago, mayors from the big Upstate cities wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressing their support for the apps and outlining why they are needed in their respective cities.

Legislators are still finalizing details about the per-ride fee the state would impose, according to news reports. The apps will collect a 4 percent fee on every ride, but lawmakers haven't determined where yet that money will go.

A spokesman for State Sen. James Seward (R-Milford) told Syracuse.com the deal was "still being finalized" on Friday morning.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo initially proposed a 5.5-percent fee on every ride that his office estimated would raise $16 million by March 2018.

©2017 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.