On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, Nassau County Executive Democratic candidate Laura Curran held a news conference urging current County Executive, Edward P. Mangano, not to bar ride-sharing apps from operating in Nassau County.
Larry Blessinger, Jr., President of the Nassau-Suffolk County Taxi Owner’s Association and Vice President of All Island Transportation, had the following to say:
“Laura Curran, your duty is to protect the safety of Nassau County residents. You are supposed to be a leader that makes the best decisions for us, the riding public. You have chosen to support sexual predators, child molesters, murderers and drug dealers. You have agreed to say it is OK to let these drivers behind the wheel without any extensive criminal background check. You have chosen to put children and senior citizens in jeopardy of serious harm. You are acknowledging that you support drivers who have performed illegal activities in the past to serve our public. You are doing a dis-service to the residents of Nassau County by allowing this to go forward.
Competition is good, but [Uber] must play by the same rules. You are basically throwing the rules out the window and allowing a free-for-all.
Laura Curran, what are you going to tell the distraught parent when their daughter never came home but they found out she took an Uber? Where is the accountability? Who are you going to call? Who was that driver that picked up your daughter? A friend that had too much to drink can only remember that she got picked up by a black car, with no name of the company on the side of the vehicle, no taxi depot office to call to investigate. No record of a reservation that was dispatched to a properly licensed and insured taxicab company. What are you going to do then?
You are setting up this county for disaster, you are telling a heavily regulated taxicab industry that they don’t need to play by the rules anymore. You need to seriously think about your decision and possibly change your views and opt out now while you still can. Because if you don’t the ramifications could be horrendous. I hope you never have to explain to that parent whose daughter never came home that you made the wrong choice when you decided to support Uber.”
Curran did not respond to Blessinger’s comments.