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Legislators May Consider Uber, Lyft Opportunities

Uber and Lyft want to expand their transportation service across New York State, but it will take a change in legislation.

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle says he often uses one of these services when he's in New York City, and he expects lawmakers will consider the issue in the upcoming session that begins in January.

"I think that the goal is to make sure that these innovative type services are operating around the state, and certainly here in Rochester,” said Morelle.

Morelle says the state's interest is to protect consumers.

"And opportunities for folks who are in innovative space...innovative do their business and to make sure there's a level playing field with existing businesses who have operated under a certain set of laws."

He says his colleagues are already reviewing insurance and regulatory concerns.


Uber claims it could create 13-thousand mostly part-time jobs in the state.

Morelle believes services such as Uber and Lyft could be helpful in a city like Rochester where transportation options can be limited.

"Senior citizens needing to get to a health care appointment, or young people who perhaps over indulge on a Saturday night and want to get a safe way to get home. These will give more opportunities for people."

Uber claims 350-thousand people upstate and on Long Island have downloaded their app - and they can't use the service where they live.

Morelle adds the legislation would create opportunities for anyone with a vehicle to make a little money by offering rides, once they pass the background checks and regulations.


"This could be a small opportunity for you to be an independent entrepreneur, and, on a part-time basis, transport people. I think there are a lot of opportunities. Look, it's a changing world and we need to make sure that we're providing the right framework for that changing world."

Uber argues its service doesn't take jobs away from anyone, but fills a void.