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Officials: Ride-hailing services have had a minimal effect on Syracuse traffic

Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, recently introduced to Syracuse, have resulted in few traffic issues across the area, city officials said.

The transportation apps started operating in Syracuse this summer. Sgt. Richard Helterline, a Syracuse Police Department spokesman, said there has not been many traffic issues connected to the services.

“We haven’t seen a specific increase per se,” Helterline said.

Because the services are private businesses, Helterline said SPD has no way to track if car accidents are related to the companies.

Helterline also said SPD supports people using ride-hailing services to avoid driving drunk.

“If people take a few too many to drink and use (ride-hailing services), it’s definitely a safer option than getting behind the wheel,” Helterline said.

Currently, there is no specific parking spot near Armory Square for ride-hailing pedestrian pickups. Heterline said it would be up to city government officials to decide whether some parking should be phased out to make room for a pickup location.

Steven Thompson, an at-large Syracuse Common Councilor, said he has not heard of any negative issues due to ride-hailing services operating in Syracuse, except for some concerns raised by taxi drivers.

“They feel they’ve been muscled out a little bit,” Thompson said.

Common Council members have discussed how ride-hailing services could affect traffic near Syracuse University’s Carrier Dome, Thompson said.

Daily Orange File Photo

Thompson said when the services were first introduced in the area, an influx of vehicles hit Armory Square. The SPD has found ways for ride-hailing service vehicles to park in the area, he added.

The council member said a possible plan is to put up signage across the city so police can help determine who is a ride-hailing driver. Thompson said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s administration has been working with SPD on the issue.

“We’re waiting to see if they come back to us with…

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