- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Mayors and county executives are urging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers to authorize Uber’s upstate expansion.

The elected officials made their plea in a letter that comes as the Legislature considers holding a special session this month that could include debate over granting Uber’s proposed expansion.

The letter states that visitors to upstate are “stunned” when they learn the region doesn’t have Uber.

It goes on to say Uber could reduce drunken driving while providing a useful service that helps local bars and restaurants.

Those signing the letter include the county executives of Monroe and Dutchess counties and the mayors of Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica and Binghamton.

State law now prohibits Uber from operating outside of New York City. The app-based ride-hailing service has long pushed to enter upstate’s largest cities.

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