NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Yellow cab lobbyist Brad Gerstman is fed up over Uber and other ridesharing companies illegally operating in Nassau County without a license. He wants authorities to enforce the law.
Fox 5 hit the streets with the Uber app. Within seconds we had the information of our driver and the license plate.
Gerstman points out plates with letters t and c at the beginning and end are standard for cars that are registered to New York City. The license in the TLC database matched Uber's address. The car wasn't registered in Nassau. We cancelled that ride and did it again. Another plate registered to the city doing illegal work on the island.
The driver told us that he lives in Queens but prefers working in Nassau County because there is less traffic and riders average more miles.
Nassau County TLC Commissioner Greg May said many drivers know they're breaking the law. All five cars we requested were registered to the city. May has seven full-time investigators looking for illegal pickups. We stopped at the Mineola train station, which is considered a hot spot.
May said the car companies get New York City authority and then operate in Nassau from point to point. May said this is not a money grab - the county has 3000 registered vehicles and 700 licensed drivers. The cost is $300 and $250 to renew each year. He said the enforcement is to ensure vehicles and drivers are safe.
But in a phone interview, Uber said a Nassau license is unnecessary when it doesn't give them authority to do business in many municipalities. Uber is pushing for the state to step in to make riding-sharing legal.
Local licensed transportation companies say that would be unfair.
Nassau County TLC has issued more than 3,000 tickets to these illegal Uber operators this year so far.