Local entrepreneurs create shuttle service to connect Buffalo districts

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Buffalo doesn’t have a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft but now there is an alternative to taxis. Buffalo WINGS Service shuttle is now the first hop-on entertainment shuttle in the Queen City. The official launch of the service is on Friday.

“I realized it was really hard getting around town, not only just the cab service or the metro, but there really wasn’t anything connecting the eight districts together,” said Riley McFarlane.

A year ago, he called his friend Jake Hager to help him fix that problem.

“We both went to high school together, went to college together, went to Ireland and moved back over this way,” said Hager.

The pair grew up in Salamanca and graduated from SUNY Brockport in 2012. Now, they’re investing in their home region.

“It would be bringing a lot of people into their districts that might not even know they exist,” said McFarlane.

The shuttle service starts in University Heights and travels to Hertel Ave., Elmwood Village, Allentown, Chippewa, Pearl Street and Canalside before ending at the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino. There are 27 stops along the route.

The shuttle will run Thursday through Sunday nights, starting at 7:00 p.m. Its location is tracked by GPS in the mobile app they created.

“Pull up our app, either on Apple or Android, then you find the stop that you’re the closet to,” described Hager. “Log in, set up your account and payment information, once that’s saved you’re good to go forever.”

The app resembles Uber but this shuttle is a sightseeing bus, licensed through the City of Buffalo.

“We don’t want to get the image of being a party bus,” said McFarlane. “We’re not a party bus, there’s no food or drink permitted on board. We’ll have people on board keeping everyone safe.”

The 18-seat bus creates a unique experience. There is a mural on the ceiling, hand painted by an artist from San Diego. It features each of the districts the shuttle will drive through.

McFarlane told us the city’s growth has created opportunities for young entrepreneurs.

“It’s hard for young people like myself and Jake to start a business from scratch but we’ve gotten a lot of support from the local community,” said McFarlane.

They are part of the Elmwood Village Association and the Hertel Business Association, two areas of the city that are seeing growth.

“It’s all got to do with the resurgence in the City of Buffalo,” said Hager. “The districts that we’re hitting are growing all over the place.”

They hope to grow with the city. Their goal is to have multiple buses running on multiple routes throughout Buffalo. They’ve already received requests for private charters.

Click here for more information about the service.

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