New York City

Uber Fights Back as Westchester Considers Opting Out of Ride-Hailing Services

The Westchester County executive and the county legislature are considering opting out of ride-hailing services, and Uber is fighting back.

Uber put out a full-scale campaign in the form of radio ads, mailers and emails to current app users, calling the proposed block a "secretly-rushing" ban on "affordable, reliable transportation options."

"Banning Uber would make Westchester one of the only counties in the country without ridesharing. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that residents understand the consequence of the county's actions and have the opportunity to make their voices are heard," said Alix Anfang, a spokesperson for Uber.

A special meeting among Westchester officials will convene on Wednesday, a day before the ride-hailing expansion launch date, when New Yorkers outside of the five boroughs will finally be able to use apps like Uber.

At the center of the talks among officials is better regulating such services so that they follow similar, more stringent standards abided by current taxi and limo companies.

There was no immediate comment from the county government.

Uber said there is no wiggle room to negotiate what can or cannot be regulated. In April, state legislators passed a bill stating that counties outside of New York City cannot regulate transportation industry on their own, but they can choose to allow services like Uber operate. 

Counties with more than 100,000 residents, like Westchester, are allowed to opt out of the services. 

The $70-billion company faces a tumultuous time as its founder Travis Kalanick resigned recently. Uber reported signing up 10,000 drivers in Westchester already. It is already operating in the county illegally, and are paying $800,000 in fines, according to The Journal News.

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