Poll finds strong support for lifting Upstate ridesharing ban

A Siena Poll found 77 percent of New Yorkers support lifting a long-standing ban on ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft operating outside of New York City.

The poll asked respondents about numerous proposals in Gov. Cuomo’s 2017 budget, which includes the ridesharing provision. Past efforts to open the state to these services failed because lawmakers demanded additional insurance for drivers.

“It defies logic that ride-sharing isn’t available to New Yorkers who live outside of New York City,” Cuomo said in a statement earlier this month. “My message is Upstate New York matters and it’s not right or fair that Upstate doesn’t have this new innovation that spurs the economy, can save money and save lives.”


Expansion is opposed by taxi and limousine companies, who say the fact that they have to pay worker’s compensation and payroll taxes for their employees puts them at a competitive disadvantage with ridesharing companies, whose drivers are independent contractors.

In support are other business groups, including the New York State Restaurant Association, which says Upstate restaurants are held back by the limited options for safe and reliable transportation, other than patrons’ own vehicles.

With DWI enforcement much more rigorous than it once was, that’s an understandable concern.

Cuomo and the legislature hope to approve the new budget by April 1.