Article by: Will Robinson

For the full story visit: Jacksonville Business Journal

Rideshare company Lyft announced Friday its service will be available statewide beginning July 1 at 12 p.m.

The announcement coincides with the implementation date of HB 221, a bill that standardizes the regulation of “transportation network companies” across the state. A patchwork of varying local regulations had hindered the ability of ride-sharing companies to operate statewide.

Uber also announced this week it will begin operating statewide, thanks to the new regulation.

As many as 44.2 million Americans will travel this Independence Day weekend, and Florida is their No. 1 destination, according to AAA. This weekend is historically high in DUI fatalities, an issue Lyft hopes to alleviate.

“ Lyft’s goal is to connect communities, and part of that mission means helping people arrive safely,” said Samuel Cohen, general manager of Lyft Florida. “Blanketing the Sunshine State in Lyft service is an accomplishment we take a lot of pride in.”

Research shows that Lyft has helped reduce DUI infractions in Miami by 87 percent, in Orlando and Jacksonville by 89 percent and in Tampa by 92 percent, according to Lyft.