State could strip local authority over Uber, Lyft

Critics say there will be chaos in local municipalities if state lawmakers pass a new ride-sharing bill attached to the state budget. Critics say there will be chaos in local municipalities if state lawmakers pass a new ride-sharing bill attached to the state budget.
EAST HAMPTON -

Critics say there will be chaos in local municipalities if state lawmakers pass a new ride-sharing bill attached to the state budget.

State lawmakers are considering allowing ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate under one state authority. Local taxi services still have to register locally and operate in accordance with local rules.

East Hampton Supervisor Larry Cantwell says the potential agreement would create chaos.

"On the face of it, the state's creating a double standard here," says Cantwell. "One set of rules if you pay a tax to the state and get licensed on a statewide basis and a separate set of rules in every local jurisdiction if you're not. So it's a double standard that I think upsets the whole competitive environment in many ways."

East End residents are also worried of a repeat of last summer, when hundreds of Uber drivers were ticketed after jamming up the streets competing for fares.

"How much confusion and chaos is caused in the hamlet of Montauk when hundreds of Uber drivers come there just for the weekend, tying up the street, creating traffic, sleeping in their cars?" asks Cantwell.

Still, others welcome the idea of the ride-sharing companies out east.

"I think it's absolutely frustrating to have to deal with cabs," says Bob Walczak.

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