New push to bring Lyft back to WNY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — There’s a new online petition pushing for San Francisco-based company Lyft to come back to the Queen City.

It was here for a few months last year, but suspected its serviced due to state regulations.

Lyft drivers have to have proper insurance and commercial licenses, in 2014 New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued the company for not requiring them.

Lyft had to pay a $300,000 settlement, but expressed they wanted to come back to New York.

Currently, only New York City allows ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber, but many people in western New York say they’re feeling left out of the mix.

Local company Rise Collaborative started the online petition to change that, and gain support for a bill to bring ride-sharing to Upstate and Western New York. It has almost 600 signatures.

The bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Sean Ryan and is currently on the Assembly and Senate floors.

It would work with insurers to make room for Lyft and Uber here, but Ryan says it’s all about figuring out if they sharing economy actually works in western New York.

“So now if we’re going to allow another provider into the marketplace the question is what rules do we put on them?” he said.

Ryan also mentioned the importance of making sure adding Lyft and Uber in the market won’t take away from limo and taxi drivers, who already undergo strict regulations.

“When they come back into session and there’s a vote on this hopefully they will have seen that their constituents really have a passion for making this double standard in new York State come to an end,” said Kevin Heffernan of Rise Collaborative.

Every time the petition is signed, lawmakers get a notification. Heffernan hopes the daily reminders will persuade them.

To sign the petition click here

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