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Reliable transportation graces Buffalo with Uber

Students excited for the Buffalo launch of transportation company

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If you’ve watched TV lately, you might have noticed the Uber advertisements for drivers in the Buffalo area.

According to WGRZ, Senator Mark Panepinto said he expects Uber to be in Buffalo within the next six months.

Uber is a transportation company that connects drivers to riders through the Uber app on smartphones. This app is a new form of taxi service that launched in 2009 and is already available in many cities. Many students have used this app before in other cities and are looking forward to its Buffalo launch because of the app’s accessibility.

Halley Mangano, a senior communication major, uses Uber three to five times a week back home in New York City and believes that Buffalo transportation is not as reliable as Uber.

“There are many times where I have called cab companies in Buffalo and they failed to showed up or don’t arrive on time,” Mangano said. “I think Uber will be beneficial for college students and people who travel to Buffalo for business because Uber is more trustworthy.”

Mangano said her favorite part of Uber is how she can see exactly where her cab is on the app and what time they will arrive.

“When you use Buffalo transportation taxis you have to take your driver’s word on what time they will arrive and sometimes 10 minutes turns into 30 minutes with them,” Mangano said.

Uber drivers use their own cars to give their riders lifts to where they request to go. In order to become an Uber driver, you have to have a car model from 2000 or newer, pass a background check, attain a personal license and registration and be at least 21 years old.

To use Uber for a ride, you plug in your current location and where you want to go on the app. Once a driver becomes available, you receive a notification that a driver is coming to pick you up and what time he or she will arrive.

“Uber would be very beneficial to students who are less willing to walk places when it comes to the weather becoming an issue,” said Corey Yoskowitz, a junior accounting major. “Due to Buffalo’s large area, we travel daily from North and South Campus and either downtown or the mall. The current transportation we have can sometimes be too much of an inconvenience or a hassle sometimes.”

On the app, car icons dot a map so you can see where the Uber drivers in your area are located and you can request what size vehicle you need to come pick you up.

“I really like Uber because the cars are always very clean,” Mangano said. “You plug in where you want to go and can follow where you are going on your personal phone so you always feel safe.”

Caroline Black, a senior economics major, likes how you can pay for your ride through the Uber app as opposed to spending cash when she uses other forms of transportation.

Your credit card information saves on the app and it charges you for the distance of your ride. If you share an Uber with friends, you can split the payments between whoever is with you.

“I once took a cab here in Buffalo and the driver told me I wasn’t able to use my credit card so I had to borrow cash from a friend,” Black said. “Uber makes it easy for you to split money between who is with you without having to worry about paying each other back.”

Yoskowitz also enjoys the payment feature of the app and said he likes how quick everything is about Uber and how he doesn’t need to call ahead of time.

“The driver knows where you are and comes to you in a short amount of time and you don’t have to worry about gathering money because your credit card is already connected,” Yoskowitz said.

Black said she usually only drives her car in Buffalo and takes cabs when she goes out and agrees that Buffalo transportation can be very unreliable at times. She also thinks that the Metro stops running too early for students to use it.

“I live in New York City so I use Uber a lot at home and I like how you know exactly when your ride is going to arrive,” Black said. “Uber also gives you discount rates and free rides sometimes, which Buffalo transportation doesn’t have.”

Dani Guglielmo is the features editor and can be reached at dani.guglielmo@ubspectrum.com


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