Gov. Ivey signs statewide ridesharing legislation into law

Published 10:23 am Tuesday, March 6, 2018

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, alongside state Rep. David Faulkner, state Sen. Bobby Singleton, Ride for Alabama coalition members and local rideshare drivers — signed Alabama’s rideshare legislation into law during a bill signing ceremony at the State Capitol March 1, according to a release from the governor’s office.

This means that ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft may now operate statewide. Alabama state No. 45 to allow comprehensive ridesharing. The law will officially take effect on July 1.

“Today, we are paving the way for ridesharing throughout all of Alabama, regardless of location or proximity to major metropolitan areas,” Gov. Ivey said during the ceremony. “I am proud to have supported this bill throughout the legislative process and commend the hard work of Rep. Faulkner and Sen. Singleton for sponsoring the bill and Ride for Alabama coalition members for their strong support throughout the legislative process.”

Previously, ridesharing companies were allowed to operate only in select, approved cities in Alabama. Allowing statewide, comprehensive ridesharing means that such services may now be available in smaller, more suburban or rural areas.

The Clanton Advertiser conducted a survey across social media March 1 to determine whether or not there was interest in using such a service in Chilton County.

Of the 150 or so who responded, around 60 percent said they would not use a ridesharing service locally, while 40 percent said they would.

“I would use it if my car broke down, etc.,” said Clanton resident Jay Niamon. “It also creates jobs for our citizens.”

“When I first spoke at the Ride For Alabama coalition launch in January, I stated that one of my primary responsibilities in the Alabama House is to ensure that all Alabama residents have access to safe, reliable and efficient methods of transportation,” Faulkner said. “The legislation that I and Sen. Singleton carried, and that Gov. Ivey signed (March 1), does just that.”

“Rural parts of our state will now have access to these innovative transportation methods, and more Alabama residents will have the opportunity to earn additional income,” Singleton. “With Gov. Ivey giving her signature to this legislation, Alabama’s economy will move forward, public safety will increase and Alabama residents will experience greater quality of life.”

“We want to thank the governor for her support of this law. Lyft is providing tens of thousands of Alabamians earning opportunities and transportation options that did not exist a few short years ago,” said Scott Coriell, communications manager for Lyft. “We’re excited to expand those benefits to more individuals and families around the state in the coming months.”

“With this statewide framework for ridesharing, more Alabamians will benefit from access to safe rides and flexible work opportunities through Uber – and current customers will benefit from an even more reliable experience,” said Uber General Manager, Kasra Moshkani.  “We thank Gov. Ivey, Rep. Faulkner and Sen. Singleton for their leadership and look forward to expanding throughout Alabama.”