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Ride-sharing is already available in WNY

WBFO News file photo

Uber and the NAACP issued a joint reportMonday that calls on state lawmakers to approve ride-hailing service - or ride-sharing - across Upstate.

Uber NY, General Manager, Josh Mohrer says, Buffalo and other communities with limited bus routes "are stuck in a transit desert." But Bill Yuhnke, President of Liberty-Yellow Cab, in Buffalo says, his company has been filling the gap in public transportation for 40 years.
"The ride-sharing companies are not going to sit on the East Side of Buffalo. They're not going to sit out in East Aurora. They're not going to sit out in Angola waiting for a ride when their business plan focuses on the downtown area, the college area, and the airports," Yuhnke said. 

Despite the ongoing lobbying campaign to legalize ride-hailing, Yuhnke says, the service is already available in the Buffalo area. He points out that there are lots of ads for private transportation services on Craigslist.

"With no regulation. You don't know if they have insurance. They're offering to take them to doctor's appointments. They're offering to take them to the airports," Yuhnke said.

But the services being offered are illegal. Unlike local taxi-cab providers, which Yuhnke says, are regulated by each municipality they serve. And he says all of his drivers undergo criminal background checks.  

Uber and the NAACP did not respond to WBFO's interview request.