Uber, Lyft celebrate one year in Rochester

Jun 29, 2018

Uber and Lyft have been in Rochester for a year now. And many low-income residents say they’ve found less expensive transportation opportunities and even employment through it.

“It helped me out a lot because it’s cheaper than a regular yellow cab, it’s more convenient with the app. Instead of calling someone or waiting for them to call you, the app tells you everything,” said Stephanie Vargas, a Rochester resident who said she used Uber and Lyft frequently before she purchased a car two weeks ago.


WXXI's Randy Gorbman talks with officials from Kodak Alaris about the new ‘Kodak Moments’ app which uses a special algorithm to help people organize photos on computers and mobile devices according to which photos are the most meaningful to them.

Also, former Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns is appointed to the Uber Board of Directors, and we also discuss a local connection to the opening of a new Oakley store at Eastview Mall.

Have you used Uber or Lyft? We take a look at ride-hailing in Rochester since it came to New York State in late June. Thousands of people have used the services; are they delivering? 

We talk to drivers about their experiences, riders about the quality of service, and business owners about the impact on their customers. What are the most popular destinations? Have Uber and Lyft helped decrease drunk driving? How are they impacting the taxi industry? Our guests:

  • Andrew Muldoon, Uber driver and director of advancement at the University of Rochester
  • Kim Saccardi, Uber and Lyft driver, and teacher
  • Natnael Eshetu, Uber driver and co-owner for Highland Transportation
  • Dan Morgenstern, owner of Radio Social

Governor Andrew Cuomo says that if Upstate New Yorkers want ride-sharing like Uber, they need to call their lawmakers. So has the time come? Or are the critics right to push back, saying that Uber undermines workers? Our panel discusses it:


More than two dozen Rochester cab drivers were joined by their union allies on Monday, calling on city lawmakers to reject Uber and Lyft’s bid to operate in the region unregulated.  

The companies’ business model has been supported by state officials and several New York mayors who anticipate job growth.

Malkie Demissie has been driving cabs on and off for 25 years and is now part-owner of Park Avenue Taxi Services. He says the group welcomes the competition.

We examine the debate over Uber and Lyft, and whether it's time for the state to allow them to operate across New York.

For now, these transportation providers can only operate in New York City, but advocates say lawmakers should open it up. Opponents say that Uber and Lyft could sink the taxi cab industry, which tends to pay drivers better wages. We hear from all sides. Our guests:

Legislators May Consider Uber, Lyft Opportunities

Oct 25, 2015

Uber and Lyft want to expand their transportation service across New York State, but it will take a change in legislation.

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle says he often uses one of these services when he's in New York City, and he expects lawmakers will consider the issue in the upcoming session that begins in January.

"I think that the goal is to make sure that these innovative type services are operating around the state, and certainly here in Rochester,” said Morelle.

Morelle says the state's interest is to protect consumers.