New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to regulate Uber and other ridesharing companies so that anyone with a car can provide ridesharing services.
Cuomo says that the state needs to establish licenses for such companies since they often need to cross municipal borders with fares. New York City currently allows these digital companies to operate while being regulated by the city’s Taxi & Limousine Commission. However, they must use cars approved by the commission. Everywhere else in the world, Uber drivers use their own cars.
Cuomo said, “You can’t do Uber city by city. This would be a statewide franchise." Based on this quote, Cuomo wants to change the current model.
As of now, the companies are working to increase their territory. They want to start operating on Long Island, as well as upstate cities and towns such as Buffalo and Rochester.
However, some officials disagree with Cuomo’s assessment. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to limit the growth of the ridesharing companies, and it’s no surprise considering he wants the city’s yellow-cab industry to thrive. Cuomo and Blasio, while both democrats, have regularly disagreed on issues since both were in office.
Blasio spokesperson Karen Hinton refused to comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, Uber spokesperson Alix Anfang, said in an email that the company is committed to expanding to upstate New York and Long Island. By expanding to these territories, the company estimates that it can create 13,000 new jobs.
Anfang said, "State leaders are hearing the voices of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are clamoring for services like Uber across the state."
Uber general manager Josh Moher acknowledges the importance of Uber expanding to the areas of upstate New York. He claims that more than 350,000 state residents outside of New York City already have the Uber app downloaded on their phones.
Additionally, local residents in upstate New York want the changes to take place because their local taxi services have been unreliable.
Restaurant owner in Troy, NY Vic Christopher says that poor taxi services can result in negative customer servicers.
"I have an anxiety attack when I’m asked to call a cab. I don’t know what to expect,” said Christopher.