Long Island taxi regulators are predicting more Uber and Lyft drivers in Nassau and Suffolk counties now that New York City has temporarily capped its number of ride-hail licenses.
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation Tuesday that puts a 12-month moratorium on the number of ride-hail licenses so the city’s Taxi & Limousine Commission can study the impact of the services on traffic congestion and the traditional cab industry.
Both Nassau and Suffolk officials said it stands to reason that the city crackdown, which is the first in the nation for a major municipality, could bring more app-hailing drivers to the Island. Neither Nassau nor Suffolk could give an estimate of its current total of ride-hail drivers because the state exempts them from registering with the counties.
“If you can’t drive in New York City, and you can drive in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, without regulation, I would think that other drivers would seek to come out here to make the money they can’t make in the city,” said James Andrews, who heads Suffolk’s Taxi & Limousine Commission as the county’s director of consumer affairs.
Andrews predicted that the increase in the number of drivers could be especially larger during the summer.