Uber and Lyft arrive in Capital Region

June 29, 2017 12:23 PM

ALBANY - Brett Perez and his friends are 'cheersing' to more than just a 28th birthday at Wolff's Biergarten on Wednesday.  They're also toasting to being some of the first in the area to be able to Uber home after a night out.

"I don't have to worry about calling for a ride anywhere," explains Perez, who lives in East Greenbush, "We have been waiting a long time."

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Passengers aren't the only ones who are anxious for ride sharing to arrive.  TJ Blakeley, who lives in Colonie, is a state worker by day and soon to be an Uber and Lyft driver by night.

"Money! Unfortunately, you got bills and life and I have four kids so we need to make sure we have money," said Blakeley.

Ride share companies tell users they're more convenient, comfortable and affordable than the bus or a cab.  Drivers like Blakeley - who also delivers for Grubhub - are excited to be part of transportation history for the Capital District and not just because he believes he'll be providing a good service.

"Getting to meet new people and new experiences and hearing stories, that's kind of cool," he said.

New York State approved 20,000 Uber and Lyft drivers for upstate New York.  Trips with the app-based companies, however, are expected to exceed 80,000 by 2020.

"It is a great feature to have in the Capital Region and when you go on vacation what a good feature to have," added Perez.

The Legislature actually moved up the start date of Uber and Lyft to coincide with the 4th of July weekend.


Abigail Bleck

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