(Hauppauge, NY-June 18, 2012) Today, County Executive Bellone announced the passage of new state legislation which authorizes Suffolk County to regulate taxicabs, limousines and livery vehicles. The State sponsors of this legislation were Senator Kenneth La Valle and Assemblyman Fred Thiele.
This authorization will allow Suffolk County to enact and enhance a local law that was approved in December 2005 but required state authorization for implementation.
"I am thankful to Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and the entire Long Island delegation for their support of this important legislation,” said County Executive Bellone. “This legislation will allow the county to ensure consumer safety and provide regulatory oversight of taxicabs, limos and livery vehicles operating in Suffolk County.”
"This legislation allows Suffolk County to set its own standards and practices with regard to the registration of taxicabs, limousines and livery vehicles," Senator Kenneth P. LaValle said.
Assemblyman Thiele stated, “Current law puts smaller limousine and taxi companies in Suffolk Counties at a disadvantage, as they are unable to schedule pre-arranged trips to New York City under Chapter 549 of the laws of 2006. This legislation would allow Suffolk County to set its own standards and practices with regard to the registration of taxicabs, limousines and livery vehicles and provide local Suffolk taxi companies with the opportunity to do pre-arranged trips to New York City. This legislation restores fairness for Suffolk taxi companies, promotes the economic viability of our local companies, and provides the convenience of affordable, pre-arranged trips to New York City for Suffolk residents.”
The newly adopted legislation will allow Suffolk County to: ensure consumers are not being overcharged, requires that licensed companies carry appropriate insurance, requires licensed companies to use only inspected vehicles that are in good repair, screens operators for driver competency and performs criminal background checks as a condition of licensing.
In addition to the consumer protections that will be enforced, the livery industry in Suffolk County benefits by expanding the Suffolk County taxi and limousine companies’ consumer market to other jurisdictions therefore foregoing the need to have to obtain licenses from New York City, Nassau County and Westchester County. The licensing of taxicabs, limousines and livery vehicles will reduce illegal competition from unlicensed “gypsy cabs.”
This measure will also serve as a revenue source for the county. Initial estimates conclude that annually the licensing and registration of these types of vehicles will provide approximately $340,000 per year in recurring revenue.