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Cuomo has tentative deal to expand Uber, Lyft to Long Island

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday he has

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday he has a tentative deal with legislative leaders to expand ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft to Long Island and upstate as part of closed-door budget negotiations. Photo Credit: Lyft

ALBANY

Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft would be able to operate on Long Island and upstate under a tentative agreement announced Tuesday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Cuomo didn’t release details of the complex ride-sharing issue that was the subject of extensive lobbying. He also didn’t say there was a final signoff by the State Legislature, and legislative leaders stressed that there were no final deals.

But he said the deal in broad terms had been completed by midday Tuesday. The state budget is due to be passed by midnight Friday.

“We basically have an agreement,” Cuomo said of the ride-sharing issue.

Hours before he announced the tentative deal, both sides of the ride-sharing issue accelerated their efforts to lobby lawmakers on the issue

Teamsters Local 237 in Manhattan, which represents livery drivers who compete with Lyft and Uber, pushed for fingerprinting of drivers and large fines for violation of safety and consumer protection measures.

Proposals under discussion would require drivers to carry specific, high levels of insurance, and to clearly identify cars used by ride-sharing companies with permanent signs. But the union argues that the measures would impose significantly fewer restrictions on ride-sharing companies than are currently in place for taxi drivers.

“All create regulations for the TNCs that are more lenient than the ones for other for-hire vehicles, such as taxicabs, limousines, black cars and liveries,” the union said this week in a statement of Uber and Lyft, which are also known as transportation network companies. “All of these bills have provisions that will make existing laws against illegal pickups nearly impossible to enforce.”

For its part, Uber released a TV ad Tuesday in an effort to press Cuomo and legislative leaders to find a way to expand its business jurisdiction beyond New York City, where it is legal. Uber said Alaska and New York are the only states that restrict access to ride-sharing services.

“Time and again, legislators have left the Capitol without delivering on ride-sharing for upstate New York,” said Josh Mohrer, Uber New York’s general manager. “Poll after poll after poll has shown that an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers are demanding better transportation options in their communities, and it’s time for Albany to ignore New York City special interests and pass a statewide framework for ride-sharing immediately.”

Closed-door negotiations continue for a state budget that is due by midnight Friday. Cuomo included the ride-sharing measure in his budget proposal.

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