New Mexico Gov. Martinez signs Uber, Lyft bill - Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico Gov. Martinez signs Uber, Lyft bill

Ap Bc Ye Top 10 Business Stories Img Jpg Nybz215

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez arrived Wednesday in her first Uber ride and signed a bill allowing ride-booking companies Uber and Lyft to operate in the state.

The Republican governor said the measure ends the confusion over whether the companies are welcome in New Mexico.

“After one ride I can see why Uber is so amazing,” Martinez said. “It makes the state accessible.”

Martinez said the companies will help reduce drunken driving in the state and allow tourists to roam.

Uber and Lyft use smartphone apps to connect their drivers with people seeking rides.

The legal status of the companies in the state had been in limbo since they began offering service in 2014. The companies had argued that the state’s Motor Carrier Act did not apply to them because they do not operate as commercial taxi businesses.

The dispute forced Lyft to pull out of New Mexico after state regulators couldn’t come up with a solution. Martinez said she hoped Lyft would give New Mexico another look after she signed the new legislation into law.

In a statement, Lyft praised the passage of the bill but did not say if it would return to New Mexico.

The new regulations include background checks for drivers against criminal and sexual offender databases.

Rep. Monica Youngblood, R-Albuquerque, said it was a two-year fight to get the legislation through the GOP-controlled House and the Democrat-led Senate.

Traditional cab companies had fought bills to allow Uber and Lyft to operate in New Mexico over safety concerns.

Uber spokeswoman Taylor Patterson said the company was pleased to have another state with a regulatory framework.

She said Uber already is active in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos and Las Cruces. In Las Cruces, the district attorney’s office has helped Uber promote its services as a safe alternative to drinking and driving.

“Even though New Mexico is a newer market for Uber, it certainly is no less important than any other market we’re in, in terms of our focus to expand,” she said.

___

 


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Lobo/Aggie basketball rivalry returns after 2 years
ABQnews Seeker
After two years, the Lobo/Aggie men's ... After two years, the Lobo/Aggie men's basketball rivalry is back Tuesday night in Las Cruces.
2
Sunport has second-busiest stretch in 20 months
ABQnews Seeker
65,000 holiday travelers reported over 5-day ... 65,000 holiday travelers reported over 5-day period
3
New trial begins for Rio Arriba sheriff
ABQnews Seeker
James Lujan is charged with helping ... James Lujan is charged with helping a friend avoid arrest in 2017
4
Elk poached at Bandelier National Monument
ABQnews Seeker
Park rangers are seeking the public's ... Park rangers are seeking the public's help in finding those responsible for that killing, as well as the death of a mule deer
5
NMSU has nutty idea for citations
ABQnews Seeker
Donations of peanut butter will be ... Donations of peanut butter will be accepted in lieu of some parking fines
6
Cloud seeding company retracts application
ABQnews Seeker
Proposed project drew opposition from locals, ... Proposed project drew opposition from locals, organizations over 'potential for environmental damage'
7
UNM women to show what they've learned
ABQnews Seeker
Mike Bradbury is willing to count ... Mike Bradbury is willing to count his team's latest Texas road trip as a learning experience on one condition: His team had to actually ...
8
Pre-winter warmup brings highs 10-20 degrees above average
ABQnews Seeker
Rain chances for state expected to ... Rain chances for state expected to be slim until early next week
9
Five killed in June balloon crash died of blunt ...
ABQnews Seeker
A toxicology report on late pilot ... A toxicology report on late pilot Nick Meleski found he had marijuana and cocaine in his sy