Lyft and Uber drivers react to statewide rideshare expansion
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - In June, Governor John Bel Edwards signed a bill that would implement statewide expansion of rideshare services.
The law went into effect in July.
Before this bill was signed, rideshare services weren’t available in areas like Leesville, DeRidder, and DeQuincy.
“Creating a statewide framework for ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft benefits our smaller and rural communities where rideshare services aren’t currently available," Edwards said. "Bringing these services to these areas opens up new places and businesses for people where they live, makes it easier for visitors in Louisiana to connect with our local experiences and helps reduce impaired driving.”
Rodney Mallet, with the state Department of Transportation and Development, says the new bill will not effect any local councils that have previously voted against rideshare options.
“The passage of the bill allows for the regulation to be housed at the state level,” Mallet said. "Ultimately, this allows for the operation statewide. Any municipality that already an agreement with the rideshare will be grandfathered under their current agreements. If an operating agreement has not been established, then the newly passed statewide regulation and its requirements will be the governing authority for rideshare.
Rideshare driver Angela Edwards says she welcomes expansion.
“Allows us to service areas that we can’t service now," Edwards said. “You know they have no transportation, they have no city lines, bus lines, no public transportation all they have is cabs they have one option .”
Parish Larue says it will help fix the driver-rider ratio here in Lake Charles.
“We do have drivers that come from other regions to drive in Lake Charles simply because they don’t offer rideshare in their region," LaRue said. "Having the availability to pick up where they live will definitely allow our drivers to spread out a little bit more.”
Angela says the bill expands on what ride share companies can do.
“They need to take the kids to daycare, they need to take the kids to school, they need to do all this stuff," Edwards said. "They can’t do it with no transportation and that’s what we’re here for.”
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