A Mechanicville-based beverage distributor said Tuesday it would work with Uber to help its employees get home safely – should the state Legislature legalize ride-sharing services in upstate New York.
DeCrescente Distributing Company and Uber on Tuesday announced plans to partner on a “Safe Ride Home” program that would ensure the distributor’s workers “always have access to a reliable and safe way to get home,” the distributor said in a prepared statement. DeCrescente currently offers a safe-ride program for its employees across 11 Capital Region counties, but it relies on local taxis.
Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, which connect passengers with drivers using mobile apps, are legal in 45 states. New York is not one of them, at least outside of New York City.
“As the owner of a local business, I care about the safety of my employees when they’re on the job and when they’re on their way back home from the many customer promotions and events that they participate in,” said owner C.J. DeCrescente in the prepared statement. “Like anything else, it would have to be utilized responsibly and with certain guidelines as to also not send the wrong message.”
DeCrescente said Uber can play a major role in making New York’s roads safer; he encouraged the law’s passage “so everyone has a viable alternative, regardless of their ride needs.”
“It would not surprise me to see people taking Uber to and from various events knowing they no longer had to worry about driving,” he said.
Josh Mohrer, general manager of Uber NY, said Uber is proud to partner with DeCrescente to “ensure their workers always have access to safe and reliable transportation options.”
Support for ride-sharing services has been growing in the Capital Region, and its legalization is expected to be hotly debated when the Legislature returns in January.
Opponents raise concerns over insurance and security and say Uber would hurt the taxicab industry. Supporters said it would create part-time jobs, improve transportation options and make communities safer by reducing drunken driving.