Westchester travelers will have access to the ride-sharing services on Thursday, according to the New York State Department of Transportation.
The move comes in response to an ongoing investigation into Uber and Lyft in New England, which has been under scrutiny since Uber and other ridesharing services began operating there in April.
The Department of Motor Vehicles is investigating complaints that some Westchester businesses are using Lyft and other ride-share services to collect fares, charging customers a $1.25 fee or collecting fares with a ride.
Uber is also being investigated for alleged violations of New York state consumer protection laws.
Westchester officials have been trying to find a solution for riders who cannot afford taxis, but the state Transportation Department’s new policy makes it easier for them to take advantage of ride-hailing services.
It does not require that riders have an insurance or proof of insurance for rideshares.
The state is also expanding the availability of rideshared trips by giving ride-service providers access to a data-sharing agreement, allowing the companies to share riders’ information with each other and with the state.
The deal is expected to be approved by the Legislature as soon as Thursday.
The ridesharer-only agreements will allow riders to have a driver available to them during the day, as well as after-hours, as needed, said New York City transportation commissioner Eric Garcetti, who was one of the lawmakers who introduced a bill to create a pilot program.
The agreement, which will be offered on the state’s ride-sharing website, will be available to drivers with a minimum of five rideshare drivers.
The agreement also will include the state and ride-Sharing companies sharing information about drivers, and the company will be required to notify the state if its driver is involved in an accident.
Uber and Lyft will also be able to offer their own rideshare programs, depending on the size of their fleets, and will be able share rideshare data with other ride services.
The new policy is a response to Uber and UberX drivers being accused of stealing fares from customers, and to a report that some rideshare companies are charging passengers with a $2 fee for a ride from an Uber or Lyft app.
It is also aimed at increasing competition and protecting drivers from the negative publicity surrounding ride-services.
Ridesharing is already legal in New Hampshire and other states, including California.
It has gained popularity in the state after Uber drivers became famous for their “taxi-hustling” techniques.
But the companies say they are regulated as traditional taxis, and critics say the companies are too big and too profitable to be fair competition for New Hampshire residents.