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Shuttle service hopes to bring new transportation option to Syracuse

The Tech Valley team.
Provided photo
Tech Valley Shuttle
The Tech Valley team.

A community-based transportation company from the Capital Region is looking to expand into the Syracuse market with its low- or no-cost service. Tech Valley Shuttle runs services from everyday transportation and group shuttling for events, to non-emergency medical transportation. Founder and President Trent Griffin-Braaf says part of the reason for coming to the Syracuse market is the growing dissatisfaction with the rideshare industry, especially at off-hours and peak times.

“We've heard a lot of feedback where it's harder to get rides or the rides, spikes in prices, things of that nature, or even people waiting because rides consistently get dropped," Griffin-Braaf said. "So we knew that was a similar issue that we’ve seen in the Capital region.”

A 2023 analysis from Forbes found that between 2018 and 2022, Uber fares shot up an average of 83 percent, far exceeding inflation during the same period. But Griffin-Braaf says most of their services are provided to riders at no cost. Instead, he says they work directly with organizations and employers that benefit from their transportation services.

“They could take advantage of tax incentives and some funding that are out there that then reduces their costs for doing the service," Griffin-Braaf said. "And then when you mix in their retention rates dropping down, after a year, they kind of look back and they start to see those tax savings, and it becomes a no brainer. They say 'oh, this is actually beneficial, and it's not at the cost that we thought it would be'.”

Griffin-Braaf says Tech Valley evolved from what began as a hospitality shuttle about eight years ago to a service that aims to address poverty by helping people get to work. Even the business itself hires people who come from underserved populations. Griffin-Braaf says he himself was incarcerated as a teenager.

“Eighty percent of my team has been justice impacted like myself with the other 20 percent either being formerly homeless veteran or identifying and having some sort of disability. And so we're literally showing organizations how you can have success with these populations that oftentimes employers say you can't.”

Griffin-Braaf says he’ll be working with the Center for Community Alternatives and others to make those connections. Tech Valley will be holding a job fair May 8 in partnership with CNY Works and the Department of Labor. They’re seeking full and part time drivers, with or without a commercial driver's license.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at
Matt Salerno is an undergraduate studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, expected to graduate in May 2025. As a contributor, he helps produce content for WAER. In his free time, Matt plays and listens to jazz and bebop music and climbs at the Barnes Center's rock climbing gym.