Taxi workers urge Nassau to reject ride-sharing services

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MINEOLA - Taxi drivers and owners converged on a Nassau Legislature meeting Monday, calling on lawmakers to reject a plan that would allow ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to operate in the county.

Dozens of drivers circled the Legislative Building in Mineola in protest.

County lawmakers have yet to decide on whether to opt into the statewide law starting on June 29.

Owners of local cab companies spoke out against the proposal during the Legislature's public session. Some argued that it could put the public in danger.

"A traditional taxi company goes through a governmental fingerprint and background check," says Lawrence Blessinger Jr., the Nassau Suffolk Taxi Driver's Association president. "Uber and Lyft will be doing their own internal background checks and then through the DMV, they will be able to issue their own licenses to the drivers."

Republican Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves says the focus is having a level playing field between the taxis and the ride-sharing services.

Democratic lawmakers tell News 12 that they agree, and add that they also want to see if Albany lawmakers can come up with additional safety measures.

"I think I speak for the entire Legislature in that no one wants to see sex offenders in cars. We are looking to see what Albany does in the upcoming week to ensure that they pass legislation which bar sex offenders from driving Uber cars, period," says Kevan Abrahams, the Legislature's minority leader.

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