Uber petitions New York State to allow its ridesharing service

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Officials with the ridesharing company Uber are pushing hard to enter New York State, and they’re throwing around some significant economic benefits to bringing ridesharing to Buffalo and the Empire State.

Across the nation, millions utilize Uber as an alternative to taxi cabs as a way to make it from place to place, but in New York State, only New York City has made room for Uber drivers. Officials with the company are asking to expand their service to the rest of the state — something they say would create 13,000 New York State Jobs outside of New York City.

Those jobs would theoretically create $80 million in fare revenue for Uber drivers if people utilize the service in places like Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester. Uber representatives say New Yorkers have already showed they’re willing to use the service, noting more than 350,000 New York State residents outside of New York City have downloaded Uber’s application, an advanced application for smartphones that allows users to organize and pay for Uber rides.

In Buffalo, Uber representatives say many would be able to use the service to reduce drunk driving. Buffalo is the last of 32 NFL markets without the ridesharing service.

In order to allow Uber into the rest of New York, lawmakers will need to change laws to allow for group insurance and requiring third party background checks for drivers. Those laws have been an obstacle for other ridesharing services that attempted to get off the ground in Buffalo.

On Wednesday, Lawmakers will hear Uber’s case along with representatives from Lyft, another popular ridesharing company.

About 60 people will attend the meeting, initiated by New York State Legislators.

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