BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, have become a vital resource for travelers. However, those services aren’t available to everyone in Louisiana. Lawmakers are now discussing a bill that could expand services and regulations statewide.
"You may be able to get a ride in some places like New Orleans or Jefferson Parish right now, but you can’t in Alexandria. You can’t in Ruston,” said Nick Juliano with Let’s Geaux Louisiana.
Juliano is hopeful the Senate will pass House Bill 575. Currently, each jurisdiction creates their own regulations, which means an Uber driver working in one city often cannot work in another.
“For example, in some parishes there’s an age limit of seven years for a car. In other parishes, maybe ten years for a car, things like that,” said Juliano.
If passed, the bill will also give more riders across the state access to the ride-sharing services.
“You hop in an Uber in Kenner, in Jefferson Parish, and you take it to Houma, but then we’re not present in Houma, so you will not be able to get a ride back and you would be stranded,” said Juliano.
An employee for both Uber and Lyft says the bill will also benefit drivers, who miss potential income when traveling long distances.
“I believe it’s all good news. If you go to Baton Rouge from New Orleans, you have to go back to Baton Rouge before you start accepting more passengers,” said Antony Lightfoot, a driver.
Uber currently operates in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Lafayette, and Monroe. Lyft operates in all five of those cities, plus Lake Charles.