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Published 11:53 pm Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Ridesharing can operate statewide, beginning Sunday

Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday encouraged all Alabamians to take advantage of ridesharing during their summer festivities and throughout the year as she announced that statewide ridesharing is effective beginning July 1, 2018. The measure, passed by the Alabama Senate and House and signed into law by the governor, allows companies like Lyft and Uber to operate regardless of location or proximity to major metropolitan areas.

“Alabamians in all areas of our state now have the option to enjoy the many benefits of ridesharing, including opportunities for those looking to make extra income; increased economic activity for local businesses, cities and towns; and the expansion of safe, affordable transportation options,” Gov. Ivey said. “I was pleased to have a part in bringing this much-needed service statewide and look forward to watching these platforms grow in the years to come.”

Previously, ridesharing companies were allowed to operate only in select cities in Alabama. Suburban and rural areas will now have access to innovative transportation methods, and more residents will have the opportunity to earn additional income through these expanded opportunities.

“This is a great day for individuals around the state of Alabama — for drivers and passengers — as they can now experience the various benefits of ridesharing, including having access to responsible and reliable transportation statewide,” Jake Darby, general manager for Lyft, said. “Gov. Ivey played an instrumental role in bringing this law to fruition, as did our regulator the Alabama Public Service Commission, and we are excited that a new chapter officially begins today.”

Throughout the legislative process, statewide ridesharing was supported publicly by the Ride for Alabama coalition, comprised of multiple Chambers of Commerce and third-party entities, such as the Alabama Hospitality and Restaurant Association, Birmingham Urban League, Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, the Alabama Black Chamber of Commerce and the Alabama Association for the Deaf, among others.

Alabama becomes the 45th state to welcome comprehensive ridesharing.