BUFFALO, N.Y. -- This week Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-New York, issued a challenge to Upstate voters.
"It's going to take the people of upstate New York to call up their legislator and say, 'Hello, do you want me to vote for you? Then get me Uber in Upstate New York," he said.
Cuomo said if people want ride-hailing in cities like Buffalo, Rochester and Albany, they need to make that clear. State Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, said he's already got the message.
"We've definitely received phone calls here and emails at the office and my message in response is I'm with you," he said.
Kennedy is encouraging people to continue to call both his office and the office of other legislators that might be less convinced. He said it only strengthens the case as they head back to Albany for session.
"As far as I'm concerned, the sooner the better," he said "This should've been done already. We voted on it. It didn't get passed in both houses. That is something that needs to be remedied out of the gate."
Thursday, ride-hailing company Uber released a poll suggesting 80 percent of New Yorkers support legislation that creates standardized regulations for the industry.
"We're in favor of it. We're not opposed to it and we want to be very clear about it, but we have to make sure that we're not taking an existing jobs and sacrificing them for part-time jobs," Joel Giambra, a consultant for Liberty Yellow Cab in Buffalo, said.
He said the regulations should be standardized not just for ride-hailing but for all rides for hire.
"We're asking for a level playing field and we want more regulations," Giambra said. "We think there should be mandatory finger printing and mandatory federal background checks on anybody who's driving a person for hire."
He is cautioning lawmakers not to rush legislation just because it's popular.
"I think it's going to go through the process and I think we're going to be able to have our day in court, if you will, to explain why we're concerned," he said. "Not why we're against but why we're opposed to having a deregulated ground transportation system which I think puts the public in harm's way."
Kennedy is co-sponsoring legislation that mirrors the regulations for New York City.