Hail Storm

Ride-sharing phenom Uber struggles for a toehold in Westchester.



Did you know Uber is illegal in Westchester? Don’t be surprised if you didn’t, because  folks all over the county use the ubiquitous yet notorious ride-sharing service every day.

“If you know where you can pick [people] up, it’s not a problem. But White Plains is one place to avoid,” said one Uber driver who preferred to remain anonymous. Rightly so, because in White Plains, cab drivers call a special complaint line when they see suspected Uber drivers picking up fares; drivers can face fines from $50 to $1,500. 

The ride-hailing service has been legal in much of New York and services 100,000 clients a day in New York City alone. Though Uber offers a legitimate service with licensed drivers in UberBLACK, its basic service, UberX, isn’t supposed to operate in Westchester. Its outlaw status in the county is twofold: First, cab drivers are obviously upset about the potential of Uber to cut severely into their livelihoods. Second, the Taxi & Limousine Commission is concerned about issues such as driver insurance and passenger safety. But according to Phil Oliva, chief of staff to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, “We want Uber in Westchester, and we’re confident that there will be changes to legislation soon.” 

Uber does require its drivers to pass background checks and meet certain requirements, and drivers are required to pass an Uber-specific car inspection. But regulations vary from state to state and from city to city.  

Whether Uber is a Westchester inevitability remains to be seen. Either way, with its spread-out towns in the north and tightly packed, traffic nightmares in the south, Westchester is exactly the kind of place where Uber could thrive.


Uber Competative 

Trip from White Plains to 

UberX

UberBLACK

White Plains Taxi

Midtown Manhattan 

$68 - $90

$139 - $183

$117

Westchester County Airport

$15 - $20

$33 - $43

$20 - $25

JFK

$88 - $115

$159 - $209

$117

Yonkers

$33 - $44

$69 - $91

$30

Katonah

$42 - $57

$91 - $120

$65


Rates are estimates based on one passenger using a standard four-door sedan.

 

 

 
Edit Module