What's stalling ridesharing in WNY?

Posted at 11:36 PM, Aug 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 00:12:24-04

It’s an issue lawmakers just can’t seem to figure out, ridesharing in New York state.

“Uber” is marketed as an quick way to an inexpensive and safe taxi ride. All you have to do is download the app and look for an Uber driver near you.

The service is currently banned outside of New York City and when the legislative session ended in June, lawmakers left the service as is and a local Assemblyman says he knows why.

“Special interests lobbyists that have a lot of influence in Albany did put pressure on people to make that decision,” Assemblyman Michael Kearns told 7 Eyewitness News.

“Whether it was a personal injury lawyer there are lobbyists who are not working on behave of the citizens and that’s what we were sent to do.”

That sentiment, by Assemblyman Kearns, is shared by local personal injury lawyer Steve Boyd.

“I agree with Mr. Kerns that there is too much power for the lobbyists in Albany,” Boyd says.

The Buffalo based attorney says the interest groups didn’t go to bat against Uber they fought for tougher legislation on insurance – an issue several industries have raised including the taxi industry.

“So for example a New York city cab has to carry $100,000 in insurance if someone in the cab is injured because of that driver's negligence the trial lawyer said the Uber driver should have the same thing,” Boys says.

“That’s not them saying keep Uber out do what’s far do what’s right for consumers.”