Uber and Lyft are finally moving to the rest of New York.
The two ride-hailing competitors, long operating in New York City, are now allowed to operate in the entire state. Legislation signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo went into effect June 29, bringing Uber and Lyft to upstate New York, Long Island, Westchester, and pretty much the rest of the state.
Ride-hailing drivers have worked in other parts of the state before, but local legislation banned the services from some areas, including much of Long Island. The new law allows ride-hailing throughout the state—with specific regulations surrounding background checks and other concerns—but permits local governments to opt out if they wish. Westchester came close, but ultimately went ahead with the services.
The rollout is unique since it includes the entire state. Both companies have been recruiting drivers in big cities and the more rural areas now covered. Lyft only services the entire states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, and soon Florida.
Buffalo and Rochester are two of the core cities for upstate New York, said Jaime Raczka, Lyft’s regional director of new markets. Rural areas with fewer drivers—but less demand—are also getting started on ride-hailing.
“New Yorkers have been demanding ridesharing in their communities for years and our state leaders have delivered ensuring that starting this holiday weekend, residents and visitors will always have an affordable, reliable ride,” Uber spokesperson Alix Anfang said.