Celebrating ridesharing in Buffalo and upstate New York

Local political and business leaders applaud new service start

Tim Wenger
June 29, 2017 - 12:01 pm

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - State lawmakers gathered at Canalside Thursday morning to celebrate the much-heralded start of ridesharing services in Buffalo and upstate New York. 

"This is an historic day and the enthusiasm has been overwhelming" said Stephanie Smith, Uber spokesperson, on hand with local elected and business leaders.  Smith said there are over 50,000 drivers across New York State and the opening day op operations went well.  Admitting there may be some rural areas where service is slower or not readily available, Smith said most of the Buffalo metro area is covered by the service.

Most of the dignitaries attending the news briefing held at Canalside arrived for the event via Uber transport.

In April, the Governor and the Legislature passed a bill to bring ridesharing to the Empire State.  On June 5th, ridesharing companies were given the green light to operate across New York State ahead of the July 4th weekend, when many New Yorkers are out celebrating.

Uber Spokesperson Stephanie Smith on Day One

"I am very proud to say that in my first legislative session, we were able to bring ridesharing to all the residents of New York State,” said Senator Chris Jacobs.  “Buffalo and Western New York, a 21st Century community on the rise, can now say it is a place with 21st Century business and recreational amenities like ridesharing.  I want to thank Uber, all of my colleagues, and ridesharing advocates for making this day a reality.”

“What an exciting day it is here in Western New York, as we celebrate the long-awaited introduction of ride-sharing across the Empire State,” said Assemblyman Ray Walter “Offering Western New Yorkers access to this safe, affordable transportation option will not only prove convenient for our residents and visitors, but it also promises to greatly benefit our local economy, creating new jobs and encouraging visitation of our area’s many attractions and entertainment destinations. I look forward to seeing this beneficial service’s positive effect on our region for many years to come.”  

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement about the start of ridesharing in upstate New York:

"Today begins the launch of ride sharing in every corner of New York, bringing with it new economic opportunities, jobs and a cost-effective transportation alternative. For far too long, Upstate and Long Island residents unfairly faced artificial barriers that denied them access to these services, which was an unacceptable affront to the spirit of innovation that drives New York. I'm proud that this wrong has been righted and that a fair, safe and comprehensive ride sharing system has been put in place that benefits New Yorkers in every corner of this great state."


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