Uber, Lyft come to Suffolk; Nassau reviewing rules

Open your Uber app or Lyft app on Long Island and within minutes you can usually get a ride. But drivers aren't legally allowed to operate here. That is about to change now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation allowing ride-sharing throughout the state.

Westchester County and Nassau County haven't made a decision on participation but Suffolk County is already on board, calling it a game changer for the economy.

"The results will help produce $121 million in additional spending by passengers in our local economy, $57 million in earnings in wages and tips, and $34 million in estimated value of time saved," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said.

Drivers no longer have to be registered in the city. Long Islanders looking for supplemental income can start driving once they pass a background check. The legislation goes into effect on June 29.

An Uber spokesperson said drivers can use their personal car and use the app whenever they want to make some extra money.

Some people we spoke to give it the green light. But Long Island yellow cab owners and operators said this change is far from fair especially when ride-sharing companies don't have to pay for separate permits and parking passes in local municipalities.

"They've been operating in Nassau, Suffolk for five years illegally," said Brian Henry of L.I. Yellow Transportation Inc. "And instead of being punishing, the governor is going to reward them?"

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, 311 people were killed in New York last year because of drunk or drugged drivers.

Nassau County officials said they will review the new rules and regulations before making a decision about participating.