Uber Launches in Buffalo & Western New York

Robert G. Ortt

June 29, 2017

Elected Officials, Business Leaders Welcomed Ridesharing

Buffalo, New York – Members of the Western New York Delegation to the State Legislature, local elected leaders and ridesharing stakeholders gathered today to celebrate the launch of ridesharing in Buffalo and across New York State, ahead of July 4th weekend.

“Hey, Buffalo - your Uber is arriving now! New Yorkers have been demanding ridesharing in their communities for years and our State leaders have delivered, ensuring that starting this holiday weekend, residents and visitors will always have an affordable, reliable ride,” said Stephanie Smith, Uber spokesperson.

Poll after poll has shown overwhelming support for ridesharing in every corner of the state.

Uber can make New York State communities a safer place to live because it has been proven to help reduce drunk driving instances in cities where it operates.

An independent study conducted by Temple University found cities where Uber operates have 3.6%-5.6% fewer drunk driving deaths than cities without access to ridesharing. This means Uber has the potential to save hundreds of lives. A report by Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) released in January concludes that when empowered with more transportation options like Uber, people are making responsible choices that result in fewer alcohol-related crashes.

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.

"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.”

"Bringing ridesharing to Upstate wasn't easy; it was a fight that my colleagues and I helped to lead in the state legislature for years. But it was a fight well worth it, not only because Upstate deserves what New York City and downstate already enjoy, but because folks across Western New York demanded it," said Senator Tim Kennedy. "As legislators, our job is to represent the voice of the people in Albany, and that voice has finally been heard loud and clear. Today, as we welcome ridesharing to Buffalo, we say thank you to those who rallied alongside us, and demanded the accessibility and increased safety that we'll now see."

"I am proud to author the new law to expedite Upstate access to transportation network companies by 10 days. Now, the launch day for ride-sharing services has finally arrived. This safe, reliable transportation option will create new jobs, reduce drunk driving deaths and help to boost small businesses and tourism spending," said State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer.

Senator Rob Ortt (R,C,I – North Tonawanda) said, “Today’s launch is an exciting day for Western New York residents, small business owners and visitors alike. The economic and transit opportunities of ride-hailing services will now put Upstate on the same competitive playing field as other states around the country. With the effortless connection to cities and suburbs, our region no longer has to take a back seat to boosting tourism and local investment.”

“My colleagues and I worked together to make this happen, and I am very pleased that riders here in Western New York, and all across the state, will now enjoy the benefits of ridesharing. We received so many phone calls and letters of support. This day is a testament to their voices being heard,” said Assemblyman Robin Schimminger. “The launch of Uber here in our community will better our economy and increase our quality of life, ensuring a brighter future for everyone. Today is a day to celebrate.”

“I am happy to announce the start of ridesharing in western New York,” said Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “It brings a familiar and welcome service to visitors and additional transportation options for local residents. I’d like to thank my fellow delegation members for helping to make this 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 (R,C,I-Amherst). “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.”

“Finally, Western New Yorkers will be afforded the opportunity to use the same transportation luxuries that so many tourists across our country enjoy,” said Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello (R,C,I,Ref-Niagara Falls). “Not only will ride-sharing make our roads safer, but it is sure to boost our local economy and create a flexible and rewarding part-time job market. I am thrilled that my upstate colleagues and I were able to deliver on this promise of ride-sharing to our constituents, and I look forward to them being able to utilize this new resource.”

“As we see the city of Buffalo and the greater WNY area bounce back to life the absence of ridesharing was always a black eye on the region,” said Assemblyman Mickey Kearns. “Now, that will no longer be the case. I want to thank my colleagues from the WNY delegation and our local officials for being staunch advocates for ridesharing. Not only will this significantly help our growing tourism industry, but it is a service long overdue for the residents of Buffalo and Erie County who have highly anticipated ridesharing becoming a reality in our area.”

“I am proud that our efforts to make ride-hailing a reality in Western New York were successful, while implementing important goals regarding passenger and driver safety,” said Assemblymember Monica Wallace. “I join my colleagues and community in welcoming ride-hailing services to Buffalo and Western New York, and I look forward to the positive economic impact this will have for local businesses.”

Riders can get a fare estimate here.

For New Yorkers interested in driving with Uber, please visit uber.com/drive

Riders can download the Uber app in the iTunes or Google Play stores.