KINGSTON, N.Y. -- Kingston Mayor Steve Noble took the city's inaugural ride to the Uber press announcement Thursday afternoon. Governor Andrew Cuomo approved a law that would allow upstate communities to have access to ride hailing.

"It shows that the demand is here, there are people that want to do ride sharing, there are people that want to be able to move around the city easier and more efficiently, but there's also the concept that this is community building," Noble said.

Uber officials said more than 20,000 new drivers have signed up to be a part of the service in upstate New York, just in time for the July 4 holiday. Officials said all qualified drivers go through an extensive background check.

"A big component of Uber is safety. That's something that local drivers here in the community will facilitate safe rides for residents, so you can go from the tavern in downtown to your favorite other tavern in uptown and move around in a safe, reliable way," said Uber Senior Public Affairs Associate Cesar Fernandez.

Uber officials said the program will allow residents a safe alternative way to travel around the city. Officials said if you’re interested in becoming a driver, you can sign up through the Uber website and app.