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Report: Upstate Uber would cut all driver wages

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Posted at 11:28 PM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-07 09:27:43-04

A new report shows that expanding ridesharing services to Upstate New York could cause all drivers in Buffalo to lose about $5,700 or about 20 percent of their annual income.

The report was compiled by the pro-taxi organization The Committee for Taxi Safety. The group analyzed Census data of other U.S. metropolitan areas including Boston, Los Angeles and Austin and determined that introducing ridesharing services to the area decreased driver wages by up to 36 percent. The deflated wages applied to all drivers, including both traditional taxi drivers and ridesharing drivers.

The organization believes that Uber's potential New York expansion would create similar wage losses throughout the major upstate metro areas of Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. Specifically in Buffalo, the organization projects that drivers would start earning less than $23,000 per year, which would make it difficult for them to support themselves and their families.

"The evidence shows Uber's growth would make it more difficult for upstate drivers to earn a living wage, putting thousands of livelihoods at risk," said David Beier, president of the Committee for Taxi Safety. "If state lawmakers really care about economic justice, they must think twice before rushing a vote to approve Uber's upstate expansion."

The New York State Legislature is currently considering insurance legislation that would allow ridesharing companies to operate statewide. Lawmakers have earmarked it as a priority to vote on the law before the session adjourns later this month.