Buffalo Councilman takes big step in Uber battle – WKBW-TV


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) – Buffalo is poised to take its largest step but in the direction of bringing experience-sharing to the Queen City.

Councilmember Joseph Golombek is about to suggest an Amendment to Chapter 437 of the City Ordinances, which might permit for and regulate experience-sharing providers in the Queen City.

The Amendment would come with “Technology Network Companies” – or app-based mostly journey-sharing corporations – in the regulation that governs Buffalo’s transportation and livery providers.  It would require journey-sharing drivers to acquire a license issued by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services, and would require felony background checks. 

Although experience-sharing is presently unlawful in Upstate New York due to State insurance coverage legal guidelines, this modification would, if permitted, make experience-sharing technically authorized in Buffalo.  Chapter 437 have to be amended in order for Uber or Lyft to legally function in the town, no matter their legality in the state.

“When New York State legalizes Uber, Buffalo will be able to go full-throttle forward,” Golombek advised 7 Eyewitness News.

“[The Common Council] doing this early, as soon as we are doing it, maybe this will push Albany sooner rather than later.”

However, don’t anticipate this to be a fast course of.

Golombek acknowledges to 7 Eyewitness News that he doesn’t anticipate this modification to right away cross.  The North District Councilmember hopes to make use of this as a springboard for dialogue between the Common Council, Uber, and the taxicab business.

“What this law does is give Uber a little bit of a push right now… I think if we have good legislation in front of us, I think this is a huge step in the right direction, that we would be supportive of Uber in a short period of time,” Golombek stated.

New York State Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes says she plans to advertise this modification effort in Albany. 

Peoples-Stokes is a vocal supporter of legalizing experience-sharing in New York State and is a member of the Legislature’s insurance coverage committee.

“Quite frankly, this is the century for ride sharing. We can’t keep trying to hold back from that. We have to move forward with it, but there has to be a compromised position that comes to fruition,” Peoples-Stokes stated.

Golombek hopes to have the Ordinance modification accepted by early 2017. 

“I’m hoping that this [amendment]does get the ball rolling in the right direction, and that everything will work out so that we can have Uber for the next time we have playoffs in Buffalo.  Football, hockey, or more likely, basketball,” Golombek stated jokingly.



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