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No 'ride-hailing' here: Cuomo's 'first Uber ride upstate' was 'ceremonial'

When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo took what was billed as the first Uber ride upstate New York’s last week in Buffalo, it got a lot of attention. It was a victory lap for Cuomo, coming days after lawmakers agreed to expand ride-hailing to upstate.

But it also got us thinking: Ride-hailing isn’t officially coming here until the summer, so how did the governor arrange the ride? Did he actually request the car on his Uber app?

Not exactly. The Governor’s Office and a spokesman for Uber confirm this was a “ceremonial” ride that was not arranged through the company’s app.

In other words, the governor and his top economic-development adviser, Howard Zemsky, did not pay for the ride from Tariq Nawaz.

We also wondered how far the governor rode in the car before exiting the vehicle in front of the cameras outside the Rev. Dr. Bennett Smith Sr. Family Life Center on Michigan Avenue. From Albany? From the airport?

The answer? About seven-tenths of a mile. Cuomo and Zemsky got in the Uber at the Masten Avenue Armory, just around the corner, his office told us.

Finally, Uber rides end with the driver and the passenger each assigning the other a star rating. How, we wondered, did Cuomo do in Nawaz’s eyes?

Sadly, because it was a “ceremonial” ride procured outside the app, there were no stars assigned.
Governor, we think you’re worth 5 stars.

Cuomo takes Uber's first upstate ride in Buffalo

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