BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The battle to bring ridesharing to Western New York is now over. Expanding Uber and Lyft to the rest of New York state was approved as part of the state budget.
“I think it’s something that’s long over due, it’s going to help reduce drunk driving, it’s going to help make our roads safer and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Joseph Lorigo, Erie County Legislature Majority Leader.
It could take up to 90 days before ridesharing actually takes effect. Lorigo is calling on the state to get it up and running sooner.
“What I suggested is that the state legislature finds a way to get it up and running before July 1st so that we can have another form of safe reliable transportation for 4th of July,” said Lorigo.
The budget also mean changes in education. A first in the nation program makes New York state public universities tuition free for middle class families.
And leaders say the continuation of the Buffalo Billion in the budget is a big win for Western New York.
“The Buffalo Billion 2 will continue great projects in the city of Buffalo but also across Erie County and the Buffalo Niagara region,” said Byron Brown, Buffalo Mayor.
The state budget also includes money to improve waterways.
“The $2.5 billion dollars in water infrastructure funding that was included is renewed funding that is going to help with the cleanup efforts along the Buffalo River, along Scajaquada Creek,” said State Senator Timothy Kennedy (D-Buffalo).
Raise the Age is also in the agreement. This means 16 and 17 year old offenders will no longer be automatically forced into the adult criminal justice system.
The state budget also includes $200 million to fight the opioid crisis.
The Senate is expected to vote on the budget tomorrow afternoon and it is expected to be completed by early Sunday evening.
For more information on the budget, go to the following link: http://wivb.com/2017/04/08/ny-gov-cuomo-announces-budget-deal-1-week-late/