MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Uber will officially expand into every Alabama county on Sunday thanks in part to a ridesharing bill signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey in March.
With Sunday's launch, Alabama now becomes the 45th state to allow such ridesharing services as Uber and Lyft. To celebrate the statewide launch, Uber is partnering with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.
On Sunday, Uber will begin offering access to riders in new communities during Fourth of July celebrations.
"Uber is committed to helping make drinking and driving a thing of the past by connecting people to reliable rides at the push of a button - and now those rides won't stop at city limits," said Uber Southeast General Manager Kasra Moshkani. "As Uber launches throughout Alabama and brings service to new communities, we are proud to partner with MADD to encourage those celebrating during the July 4th holiday to make smart choices. We thank Governor Kay Ivey for her leadership paving the way for residents and visitors across Alabama to have the access to convenient rides and flexible work opportunities they deserve."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,000 lives are lost across the country each year and nearly 300 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities happened in Alabama during 2016. The summer holiday, which falls between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends are among the 100 deadliest days on the road.
Officials with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says troopers have investigated 274 traffic fatalities, 42 fewer than 2017 total of 316.
"There is never an excuse to drink and drive, and Uber's expansion throughout Alabama will make it easier than ever to get a safe ride home," said Pamela Morton, MADD Alabama State Director. "We are proud to team up with Uber to make progress on our goal of getting to zero - zero deaths, zero injuries, zero families impacted by impaired driving. Whether it's with a designated driver, a bus, or an Uber trip, if you're drinking this July 4th, leave your keys at home and take a ride on the safe side."
Prior to Ivey signing the bill, ridesharing companies were only permitted to operate in select, approved cities. Now all communities, urban and rural, will have access to the services.
"Alabamians in all areas of our state now have the option to enjoy the many benefits of ridesharing, including opportunities for those looking to make extra income; increased economic activity for local businesses, cities and towns; and the expansion of safe, affordable transportation options," Ivey said.