One Week After Rollout, Uber, Lyft Has Rural Service Gaps

Density Dictates Longer Waits; Maybe No Service In Some Spots

Dave Debo
July 07, 2017 - 5:35 am

AP photo


(WBEN)  It's been a week since Uber and Lyft started operating in greater Buffalo  and an expected gap in its rural - even suburban - coverage is emerging.

Two quick examples one week after the ridesharing services started operations in Greater Buffalo:

  • East Aurora, 10 pm- Three Uber cars in Cheektowaga, 1 in West Seneca, 15 to 20 minute wait showing on the app.
  • Amherst, at our studios near the UB North Campus  4:40 am- 1 car nearby, six minute wait.

"There are rural pockets where supply may be less than in your more dense cities," acknowledged  Uber Spokesperson Stephanie Smith.

The gap is not surprising and was even discussed ever so briefly during the legislative debate earlier this year over approving the ride sharing service in upstate areas including Buffalo. 

"This has been sold for years as bringing ridesharing to everywhere upstate,"  says the Associated Press's David Klepper who covered the discussions that led to Uber and Lyft being allowed to operate beyond New York City ".. Frankly there are going to be a lot communities in more rural counties that are not going to see this right away, if at all. "

Smith says it all comes down to the obvious nature of population density and driver availability adding that if people need a ride in the more rural areas they can open the app and still get a driver with a longer wait. 


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