ALBANY, N.Y.— Faced with Uber lobbying state lawmakers to expand its operation throughout upstate New York, the Limousine, Bus & Taxi Operators of Upstate New York
(LBTOUNY) is stepping up its efforts to counter TNCs that want to skirt established rules and regulations.
TNCs are only legal in New York City. Uber and Lyft are lobbying hard to establish a footprint in succeed in establishing Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, the state capital.
“First and foremost if any rules are adjusted for them (TNCs) then they should be adjusted for us so there isn’t unfair competition,” said Kevin Barwell, (Giorgio’s Limousine Service, Buffalo) and president of LBTOUNY.
“The competition is going to be harder for the taxi guys because of unfair competition, when our industry follows the rules and regulations, such as proper insurance and conducting background checks, which the TNCs do not. What we will fight for is a level playing field,” he added.
It’s a public safety issue, says LBTOUNY President Kevin Barwell over TNC expansion plans in Upstate New York.
Barwell noted that legislators are becoming more aware of criminal incidents involving TNC drivers and the fact that they don’t pay sales taxes.
“Some politicians are getting cold feet about TNCs because they don’t want anything bad that happens come back to bite them, so they are more concerned now with TNCs following the established private transportation rules and regulations. Barwell added that the LBTOUNY continues to monitor the situation and make its voice heard in Albany to ensure fair competition “especially making sure the public is protected.”
Albany Business Review article here.