Ride-sharing could have major impact on upstate New York

ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – “This guy ruined my life. He took a lot from me,” said Sandy LaPlante.

The guy was a drunk driver. In June 2014, Sandy LaPlante and her fiancé were riding their motorcycle when a man driving an SUV hit them. In doing so, he severed her left leg and it was his third drunk driving offense.

 

“I literally got the life sentence here. I have to struggle every day with everything I do, you know there’s nothing that comes easy to me anymore,” said LaPlante.

 

LaPlante now hopes people will make better decisions when they’re out drinking after state lawmakers legalized ride-sharing in upstate New York.

 

“People will brighten up and say listen, I don’t want to be doing this, I want to get in a safe ride home,” said LaPlante.

 

For Troy business owner Vic Christopher getting Uber and Lyft to the area has been a long struggle.

 

“I’m glad that this year in this session people finally started to pay attention,” said Christopher.

 

He says many people don’t like to travel to downtown areas because parking is difficult and local cabs are unreliable. He feels ride-sharing will change this.

 

“The people that have experienced ridesharing and Uber and Lyft, they experience a freedom and a connectivity in getting around and exploring, exploring their areas,” said Christopher.

 

That freedom he says will help attract new customers to his restaurants and bars and other small businesses.

 

“You’re gonna see such a spike in business all over the region and beyond,” said Christopher.

 

LaPlante though only has one wish: that ride-sharing helps prevent another person from going through what she went through.

 

“I don’t have a leg but I’m doing the best I can without it, and I really hope it works. I have a good feeling it will,” said LaPlante.

 

It will take the companies about 90 days to get up and running. The State Department of Motor Vehicles will oversee them.

 

The state will also create standards like mandatory background checks.