Uber uses Rivers Casino in case for upstate ridesharing

February 02, 2017 01:04 PM

SCHENECTADY - Uber wants to be a sure bet for gamblers when the Rivers Casino opens in Schenectady next week. The ridesharing company is showing potential riders how to use its app at the casino.

Uber will be showing people how its technology works as a car is ordered, tracked and delivered to the casino. It's part of the company's continued push to get legalized in upstate New York.

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Opponents of the service say its drivers don't go through enough checks to keep riders safe.

Upstate ridesharing didn't pass the legislature last session, though there is renewed hope this year because of the backing from Governor Andrew Cuomo, who added ride sharing as a main point in his State of the State addresses.

A recent poll from Siena Research Institute found that 77 percent of New Yorkers support legalizing ride sharing in upstate.

Democratic Assem. Angelo Santabarbara of Rotterdam says making ridesharing legal is about providing options for upstate New York residents. However, John Tomassi, president of the Upstate Transportation Association, says he has concerns about safety with Uber's drivers.

"The biggest primary concern is public safety. Uber does not want to do fingerprinting. They feel their background check is sufficient. It has proven otherwise in other states where they’ve had convicted criminals who are driving vehicles, people who’ve spent time in prison for murder," explained Tomassi. "All this not picked up on a background check."

"People come here, they’re expecting this service," countered Santabarbara. "It’s new technology, it’s another option for convenient travel. We made a lot of investments in infrastructure you see the roads and bridges, but we can only go so far. The city has to be as accessible as possible. Ridesharing will really bring all that together."

We’ll take a closer look at the technology and how it works on and our evening newscasts starting Live at 5.


WNYT Staff

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