Siena poll: Wide support for allowing ride-hailing services upstate

uber app sample screenshotsFrom the Siena poll out Monday: 76 percent respondents support allowing ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft to operate across the state.

And the proposal has widespread support, according to the poll results. More than 70 percent of respondents across every subgroup -- political, age, racial income, and so on -- supported the idea, with one exception. That group: people over age 55, in which the proposal had the support of 65 percent (and 14 percent said they didn't know or didn't have an opinion).

As you know, the issue is up again in the state legislature, and Andrew Cuomo has said he supports it.

Other bits from this Siena poll about issues such as the SUNY free tuition proposal, the Empire State Trail, Andrew Cuomo, and Donald Trump...


+ "Making college tuition free at SUNY and CUNY for New York families making less than $125,000, at an estimated cost to state taxpayers of $163 million per year"
Support: 58% | Oppose: 39%

+ "Extending the millionaire´s tax, which was scheduled to expire at the end of 2017, so that individuals earning more than $1 million a year and families earning more than $2 million a year continue to be taxed at a rate of about nine percent, rather than dropping to about seven percent"
Support: 77% | Oppose: 21% (Among Republican it was 57-36)

+ " Raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 years of age so 16- and 17-year-olds are treated as minors rather than adults in criminal cases"
Support: 53% | Oppose: 45% (White: 48-49 | African-American: 71-29 | Latino: 54-44)

+ " Completing a 750-mile biking and hiking pathway, called the Empire State Trail, from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo, at a cost of two hundred million dollars"
Support: 38% | Oppose: 57%

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo's favorable/unfavorable was 60-34, the highest mark in two years, according to SRI. And 50 percent of respondents said they would vote to re-elect him.

Schumer and Gillibrand

+ Chuck Schumer favorable/unfavorable: 64-31

+ Kirsten Gillibrand: 46-24 (with 29 percent don't know or no opinion)

Donald Trump

+ Donald Trump favorable/unfavorable: 36-59 -- for 15-79 among Democrats, 71-26 among Republicans, 45-53 among independents

+ "How would you rate the job that Donald Trump is doing as President? Would you rate it as excellent, good, fair, or poor?"
Excellent: 12% | Good: 17% | Fair: 20% | Poor: 48%


SRI says the poll included 723 New York State registered voters and was conducted February 19-23. Margin of error is +/- 4.2%.


I lived on the west coast for several years, and enjoyed using Uber and Lyft when I was without a car or access to a bus route. However, these companies are not a magic bullet to transportation problems, with drivers being underpaid and undercompensated for their work. Seattle has been in an ongoing legal fight regarding the status of drivers as contractors or employees (the city is leaning toward employees). This issue has not been settled.

This will not be a simple process.

That issue won't matter after Uber/Lyft push taxi companies out of the market and then move to driverless vehicles. There's a reason they operate at a loss.

It's so cute how we think we can have high-density services in a low-density living environment.

It seems like by the time we get out of our own way to allow the operation of these services, no matter how they are regulated, we'll be on the verge of driver-less cars being available. We should start working on allowing that now given that our legislative process takes so long to complete.

State law prohibits autonomous vehicles (one hand on the wheel at all times, folks!) with strict interpretation of the law. Part of the pushback against Uber and Lyft in NY is the fear that the inevitable transition to driverless technology will put all of these cab drivers out of a job, no matter if they're working for Uber/Lyft or a medallion company. No worries though, we'll have ridesharing at least for a few years before autonomous vehicles are allowed; people are used to the technology and support it with limited grasp/interests in the downsides which is the best type of bill a NY politician can get behind.

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