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The state is one step closer to having ride- hailing services available before the Fourth of July, now that the state Senate has passed a bill to speed up when companies like Uber and Lyft will be allowed to operate outside of New York City.

When state lawmakers agreed to allow companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in upstate New York and on Long Island as part of the budget, they thought that they would pass the legislation on by April 1, the start of the new fiscal year.  

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Governor Cuomo is proposing that New York State allow ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft.   

The ride sharing services have been trying unsuccessfully to expand to areas outside of New York City. Upstate and parts of Long Island are among the last places in the country not to have access to companies like Uber and Lyft. Governor Cuomo, in a series State of the State speeches, said in Buffalo that it’s time that changed, calling it an “unfair duality”.

“If it makes sense for downstate, it makes sense for upstate,” Cuomo said.

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If Governor Cuomo and lawmakers hold a special session next week, they are likely to consider whether to allow ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate outside of New York City.  

Ride sharing services have stepped up their lobbying and ad campaigns, in hopes of winning approval to expand into upstate and on Long Island by the end of the year, including a one million dollar campaign by Uber.  The ad in part says, “...there’s one thing New Yorkers really want for Christmas this year. And it isn’t a one horse sleigh.  It's the convenience and safety of Uber”.