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#UberMadness campaign takes Buffalo as March Madness begins

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Posted at 11:14 AM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 13:29:29-04

With the NCAA Tournament just days away in Buffalo, Uber launched the #UberMadness campaign.

The campaign is urging Buffalonians to give lawmakers a push to bring ridesharing to the largest city in America without it.

"The fact that visitors and residents can't use Uber to get to the games is pure...madness," said Josh Mohrer, General Manager of Uber in the Tri-State area. "Buffalo is the largest city in the country without ridesharing and, as the city increasingly becomes a center for tech, food and other events, it's critical that Albany listen to residents and act to bring services like Uber to Upstate."

Users who open the Uber app while in Buffalo this weekend will get an email asking them to tweet using #UberMadness telling Albany that the City of Good Neighbors should have ridesharing services.

"If you're in Buffalo for the NCAA Tournament, the biggest surprise isn't going to be a 16 seed knocking off a 1," the ad says. "It's finding out you can't use Uber to get to the game. Or Uber to grab some wings to celebrate your team's win."

Uber's ad continues by pushing against special interests and advocates for the "consistent and overwhelming demand from New Yorkers."

"So, while players can't travel on the court, fans are going to find it pretty hard to travel off it. Let's tell Albany, the ball's in their court. Yes to Uber. No to special interests."

But the Upstate Transportation Association (UTA) says New Yorkers should not be asking themselves why it's taking so long for any action to be taken to bring Uber upstate.

"Let's stop speculating about how Uber will fare in the state budget and start asking why it's taking so long for New York officials to investigate the Greyball program, which Uber used for years to determine law enforcement and operate illegally," said John Tomassi, president of the UTA.

But ridesharing supporters are rallying the hashtag #NotAgain on Facebook and Twitter to send a message to Albany to not let another legislature session go without bringing ridesharing to New York State.