ALBANY -- June 29 is officially the startup date for ride-sharing in upstate New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a measure this week that pushes the rollout forward from mid-July. The state Legislature advanced the date in hopes of having the service in place before the Fourth of July, so partygoers would have more options for safe travel home after their celebrations.
Ride-sharing allows passengers to use their smartphones to summon drivers; the practice is legal in most of the United States, including New York City, and has been eagerly anticipated in upstate New York.
Lyft and Uber, two of the largest ride-sharing networks, have been preparing to enter the upstate market since the 2017-18 state budget was approved in April -- and with it a provision to legalize ride-sharing statewide. Officials with those companies said last week that they’ve got a network of drivers ready to go in the Capital Region and are encouraging would-be passengers to download the apps.
“It’s official: Our state leaders have delivered for New Yorkers, and Uber is proud to announce we will launch ride-sharing on June 29th -- in time for July Fourth weekend,” said Uber New York spokeswoman Alix Anfang. “Thank you to Governor Cuomo, the State Senate and the Assembly for bringing reliable, affordable transportation options to the Empire State. We can’t wait to bring Uber to upstate and the suburbs where residents have been demanding it.”