The Uber ride-sharing service will be available statewide starting Wednesday as a result of a new state law, officials said Tuesday.

Both Uber and Lyft have been options in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and other cities for years. But critics have long complained that the rides were unavailable in rural areas and that even metro parts of the state were plagued by varying rules from parish to parish.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the legislation on June 11.

"We are thrilled to launch the Uber app throughout Louisiana, giving people in more communities the opportunity to earn money and request rides at the tap of a button," Trevor Theunissen, director of public affairs for Uber South, said in a statement.

The legislation, House Bill 575, won approval after similar bills died in the Legislature in 2018 and 2017.

The bill sets up a statewide framework of rules that will be enforced by the state Department of Transportation and Development.

Backers say the change will eliminate the patchwork of regulations that often complicated efforts to travel between parishes.

"From getting a safe ride home after a night out to earning extra money as a driver, everyone across our state will finally be able to access the Uber app," state Sen. Rick Ward III, R-Port Allen and Senate sponsor of the bill said, also in a statement.

Rep. Tanner Magee, R-Houma and House sponsor of the bill, said statewide access to Uber and Lyft will benefit state residents and visitors.

"I'm excited for my constituents to finally have access to ride-share, which can decrease the number of DWI's and increase the number of jobs in communities," Magee said.

Magee said in a tweet that he believes Lyft will offer services statewide soon.

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