Uber, Lyft head to Buffalo, bring new opportunity to Western New York

After the New York State governor’s office and state legislature finally struck a deal on the state budget, ride-sharing is set to arrive in Buffalo and Upstate New York in the next few months. For entrepreneurs like Michael Wachowiak, this green light could mean growth.


"Riding-sharing will have a profound effect on current business and entrepreneurship in Buffalo,” Wachowiak, a native Buffalonian who works at the startup Liazon, says. Working for Liazon, a private benefits company for both small and large businesses, Wachowiak says he often hosts clients from out of town.


“We bring new and potential clients for visits year-round. Ride-sharing will allow our prospective clients to navigate and explore the city in a more efficient way,” he adds.


Ride-sharing had its hurdles in the Buffalo area. It was not until New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Senate reached a deal on the governor’s $163 billion dollar budget in April that the hope of at your fingertips car service became a reality. Although the ride-sharing companies are not expected to be operational on Buffalo streets before July, the development has been welcomed by companies like Lyft and Uber.


On Twitter, Uber has a handle dedicated to introducing and developing its ride-sharing service in Western New York and across Upstate New York. @Uber_NY focuses on attracting drivers, encouraging users and promoting a brand which has become commonplace in many U.S. cities.


With that reality, an opportunity is knocking. Flexible hours, autonomy and demand by customers mean entrepreneurs have an income revenue that allows them to break from the mold of traditional nine to five jobs and work towards their own startups. People with limited funding can rely on transportation to get them from point A to B without the worry of a car payment or insurance bill. So, in essence, ride-sharing has the potential to contribute to an environment that embraces and filters entrepreneurship.

The Department of Motor Vehicles will oversee rules for the ride-sharing companies. These regulations are expected to be unveiled later this month, according to media reports.

Read more articles by Celine Keefe.

Celine is a native Buffalonian graduating with her MBA from the University at Buffalo this May. After returning to the Queen City from Charleston, SC, Celine fell in love with the entrepreneurial scene and found her passion for writing and sharing stories. Her interests include finding the best brunch in Buffalo, black coffee, and the Buffalo Bills.
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