NCAA tournament draws attention to lack of ridesharing in Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “We had to walk 20 minutes in the cold last night just to find a bar. It’s terrible. Tried to hail a cab, they hung up on us,” said James Morse, Boston.

“For people who don’t have a car from out of town it’s a big negative not to have it,” said Mike Greenhill of Maryland.

Thousands of college basketball fans plan to check out restaurants and other spots in the city while they’re here. But many are surprised they won’t be able to use a ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft to get around.

“Makes it kind of a hassle. Having Uber makes it a little more easier, a little more competition so that the prices are more competitive,” said Paul Mckeand of Ontario.

“To not have it in as major a city as Buffalo, especially with all the sports that’s here and things like that yeah you need to have Uber,” said Gary Solack of Pennsylvania.

But there is another plan in place to accommodate fans.Visit Buffalo Niagara worked with the city and local taxi companies to make sure about 100 cabs will be ready.

“We have a parking stand for the 90 minute window of time where we’ll be getting people out of the arena, out and about in the community to get something to eat,” said Patrick Kaler, Visit Buffalo Niagara President and CEO.

A lot of visitors say taking a cab is usually more expensive than using Uber, but for some people that beats walking in the cold.

“We’ve been walking cause there’s no Uber,” said Solack.

When visitors open their Uber app here in Buffalo, they’ll get an email asking them to tweet about getting ride sharing in Buffalo to catch lawmakers attention.

“For me convenience is the most important thing, I think that would be the most important for most people anyway,” said Greenhill.

Visit Buffalo Niagara is also trying to reach fans through social media. As fans are venturing around the city a team of volunteers will be using the hashtag #HoopsBuf to provide updated info on available space at local restaurants.

As for Uber, there’s no telling when it will be here in the Queen City.

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