BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The way we get around Western New York could soon be changing. “Ride-sharing” companies like Uber and Lyft will make their debut in Western New York on June 29th.
Leaders at Uber say five thousand people people from Erie and Niagara Counties have already submitted documents to become drivers for the company here in the region.
The companies say they’ve been waiting three years to make this happen, and now you’ll see a lot of drivers on the road over the 4th of July.
Leaders with Uber say first impressions are everything. Josh Gold is the Policy Director for the company. He said, “You know we’ve been waiting for three years to operate in New York and in Buffalo, we think it’s a great opportunity to make our first impression on the surrounding communities.”
Now, Thousands are ready to drive. He said, “We see people who are in between jobs who are going to work 40 hours a week, and we see folks who are just working 5 to 10 hours a week who are looking to just make a little extra money.”
One of those people is Katie Lane from Lakeview. Shes aid, “I mean I love my day job, I just have some free time I might as well do this on the side.”
Her day job, background and credit checks for tenants. Taxi companies raised questions over less-intensive criminal background checks for the app-based drivers than for taxi drivers.
She said, “Just knowing the different platforms that we use to do it, I’m sure they’re using something very similar.”
She’s planning to drive at least one day a week where she’ll take away 75 percent of the tab plus tip. 25 percent goes to the company
She said, ” I think just the freedom of being able to work when I want, and be my own boss without having to jeopardize my actual job.”
Lane says taking a cab to Buffalo from the south-towns could cost you $120 dollars round trip. She says ride-sharing will encourage people not to take risks, and she’s not worried about getting business. She said, “Buffalo is football town with a drinking problem, So I mean we definitely have a lot of opportunities to get fares from people.”
For Lane, her background check came back in less than 48 hours. She’s not required to get a finger-print based check to drive. Uber will be the official ride sharing app for Bills and Sabres games.
There still is no company deal in store yet with the Buffalo Airport.