ITHACA, N.Y.—The Ithaca Carshare has been in a state of existential limbo as a result of being unable to acquire car insurance, but the organization saw a life line begin to emerge from Albany around 2 a.m. Friday morning.

The New York State Assembly passed a bill that will allow non-profit organizations to obtain automotive insurance from risk retention groups (RRGs) based outside of New York State.

The carshare has been on pause since May 19, when their insurance ran out. The carshare’s automotive insurance company, Philadelphia Insurance, announced earlier this year that they would be pulling out of the New York market and no longer providing insurance for the carshare—which has about 1,500 members around the Ithaca community currently.

With the legislative session set to end this week, the State Assembly bill was led by Assemblymember Anna Kelles and followed the State Senate’s approval of an accompanying bill led by State Senator Lea Webb.

The bill will now go before Governor Kathy Hochul, who is expected to sign it. One major caveat, though, is that the Ithaca Carshare will have to wait six months before the law goes into effect and it can restore operations.

In a written statement, Kelles said, “Locals and visitors alike all recognize the Ithaca carshare emblem and now that we passed this bill through the assembly, for all the hurdles it took, it will continue as a point of Ithaca Pride. We have one final step to make this happen and that is to get the governor to sign it as soon as possible and give the DMV the time to get all their systems updated.”

“This is great news not just for carshares, but for the thousands of nonprofits who struggle to find auto insurance for their vehicles,” reads the carshare’s announcement on its website. “While our members will have to wait six months after the bill is signed before utilizing Ithaca Carshare cars again, we plan to take that time to strategize, expand the electric vehicles in our fleet, work on EV charging infrastructure, and improve our service overall so when we re-launch next winter, it’s better than ever.”

The announcement also thanked the various supporters of the carshare and the legislation, foremost Kelles and Webb.

“I am proud of the work that Assemblymember Kelles and I have done to get this legislation through the legislature,” Webb said. “Nonprofits like Ithaca Carshare make transportation accessible and environmentally friendly for folks who either can’t afford a car or choose not to own one for environmental reasons.”

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at