Community Viewpoint

UberDon’t Let Suffolk Steer
Clear of Progress

Dear Editor:

In April, NYS passed legislation allowing ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft to operate statewide beginning June 29th, however, the new law allows for counties and cities with populations of at least 100,000 to opt out. As a result, two County Legislators have sponsored a bill to prohibit legal ride-sharing in Suffolk, leaving hopeful residents and businesses in a dust cloud of confusion and dissatisfaction.
The local economic benefits of ride-sharing appear profound.
According to the Suffolk County Executive’s Office, legal ride-sharing “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”.
Ride-sharing also makes our roads safer.
A Temple University study showed that cities with Uber had vehicular homicide rates drop between 3.6 and 5.6% once they adopted the ride-sharing service – likely due to a decrease in drunk driving.
This evidence reflects common sense: If you know you can use a reliable ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft to get home safely at an affordable price, you’re less likely to make a dangerous choice that could ultimately cost someone their life.
County Legislators should listen to the 85 percent of Long Islanders who support ride-sharing, and stop attempting to thwart its progress. The benefits are abundant, the competition is healthy and the time is now.

Anthony Powell
President, Brookhaven Next

Filed in: Community Viewpoint

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