Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Fred Thiele and State Senator Ken LaValle that will allow the County of Suffolk to adopt ordinances regulating the registration of taxicabs, limousines, and livery vehicles.
In 2006, State legislation was passed that required taxi or limousine companies to be licensed by the City of New York in order to make pre-arranged pick-ups and drop-offs in New York City. Licensing by New York City requires that companies meet strict criteria, including a ten fleet minimum.
However, adjacent counties, such as Nassau and Westchester were granted reciprocity under the law. Specifically, in adjacent counties, cab companies did not need a NYC license provided the counties had their own license and regulations. Because Suffolk is not adjacent to New York City, its cab companies did not have reciprocity. Thus, Suffolk companies would require a NYC license to make such pick-ups and drop offs. This put smaller limousine and taxi companies in Suffolk County at a disadvantage, because they are unable to schedule pre-arranged trips to New York City.
This legislation would provide reciprocity to Suffolk cabs by allowing Suffolk County to set its own standards and practices with regard to the registration of taxicabs and limousines and livery vehicles.
Thiele stated, “This legislation allows Suffolk companies to have reciprocity to make pre-arranged pick-ups and drop-offs in the City of New York. Many small local cab/limousine/livery services do such business in the City, particularly to the airports. This legislation will put Suffolk cab businesses on even footing in the region, protect passengers from unscrupulous companies, and provide Suffolk County with $400,000 in revenue that otherwise would go to New York City.”
Senator LaValle said, "Suffolk County, local taxi companies, and residents will all benefit from the fairness, safety and convenience that this new law brings. Providing Suffolk County with the ability to set standards for the registration of taxicabs, limousines, and livery vehicles will expand the market for Suffolk-based companies, provide easier transportation options for passengers, and also bring additional revenue to the county."
The law goes into effect immediately.