Long Island’s largest business organization has joined the “NY Needs Uber” coalition that is seeking passage of a statewide regulatory framework for the app-based ride-sharing service.
The Long Island Association is the first local group to join the coalition, which was formed in November and includes the New York State Restaurant Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and “Sopranos” and “Goodfellas” actress Lorraine Bracco.
“Our organization supports regulated ride-sharing across New York State and on Long Island, where services like Uber has the potential to offer residents a reliable and affordable transportation option around their communities and to the Long Island Rail Road, increase customer traffic to local businesses, and even reduce drunk driving,” LIA president and chief executive Kevin Law said in a news release.
Locally, Uber operates only in New York City, where it is regulated by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission. Coalition members want regulations passed on a state level so riders can use the Uber app throughout New York State.
Uber NY general manager Josh Mohrer said in an emailed statement Wednesday that he welcomes the support of such a prominent Long Island organization.
“We’re heartened to have the support of Long Island’s leading business group who understands the impact that regulated ride-sharing could have across New York State,” Mohrer said. “In towns and cities where Uber operates, it has proven to be an economic boom for driver-partners and small business and corresponds to a reduction in drunk driving. We hope to bring these benefits to Long Island, where people are calling for it.”
The Uber faithful have been clamoring for the service to return to East Hampton Town, a popular destination for summer partygoers, after Uber halted service there in June when more than 20 of its drivers were charged during the Memorial Day weekend with failing to meet local licensing requirements.
East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell has said he would not support statewide regulation that supersedes local taxi laws.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo spoke in support of the regulation changes in October when he floated the idea of creating a “statewide franchise” for companies such as Uber.