Ride sharing debuts in Western New York

Ride sharing debuts in Western New York

Ride sharing debuts in Western New York

At midnight on Thursday, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft became available in Upstate New York. "A person who calls a cab, auto service or gets a ride when they've been drinking, is not only doing the right thing, they are also reducing the instances of driving while intoxicated, making it safer for all who use our roadways", Chief Read said.

The first hours of ride-hailing services in upstate NY have been for the most part smooth, with kickoff celebrations slated for across the area throughout Thursday.

"After we launch we will work with Fort Drum to provide affordable, reliable transportation options to and from, as we've done in other states", said an Uber spokesperson.

The new feature, released on Tuesday in an app update, is primarily designed for Uber users who want a simple way to arrange rides for parents, grandparents and other loved ones unable to drive themselves. Few local governments have suggested they will. It helps define a community, and shows "we are moving forward", he said.

"New Yorkers have long demanded statewide ride-sharing services and I'm pleased that these services will now be available in time for the July 4 weekend", DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said.

Violation complaints about ride-sharing companies can be filed on the DMV website.

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The two ride-hailing competitors, long operating in New York City, are now allowed to operate in the entire state.

The vehicle must display the company logo on its windshield.

Drivers must pass a criminal background check before they can transport passengers, which includes a review of their driving record. The actual model and year requirements vary by location, but the auto can not be older than 2006.

Companies must pay the state an annual $60,000 renewal fee.

Companies must provide $1.25 million in liability insurance for vehicles driven in their service.

Companies are also required to adopt anti-discrimination policies for all passengers, including those with disabilities. Drivers must be enrolled in the state DMV's License Event Notification System, a database that provides information on tickets, license suspensions and other driving-related details.

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