WPCNR WESTCHESTER COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Westchester Department of Communications. (Edited) February 28, 2018:
(Editor’s Note: On his regular guest appearance Tuesday morning on WVOX Radio, 1460, with Bob Morrone on Good Morning Westchester, Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced he was ending the Westchester County Taxi and Limousine Commission’s voluntary “Thumbs Up” program for ride-share drivers. He said he was meeting with Nassau and Sufflok County Executives yesterday to find a better way to make sure ride-sharing drivers did not have criminal records or a history of questionable behavior.)
The move comes after only 12 drivers applied for the program and minimal revenues were collected for the County.
(Editor’s note: the system was originally put in place by the Robert Astorino administration after that administration refrained from legislating that ride-sharing companies had to improve vetting of who drives their cars.)
The discontinuation of the program will result in no further promotion of it. However, this is not the end of the County’s continued efforts to find a solution to the two-tiered system created for TLC and ride-share drivers due to the growing influence of ride-share companies and evolving laws.
Latimer said: “For the program to have any value there needed to be significant buy-in from drivers and companies alike. The numbers show that the buy-in was far less than significant.
Westchester consumers of both traditional for-hire taxi and limousine services and app-based ride-share services deserve a fair and effective system that meets their needs and keeps them safe. What this program offered was just lip-service.”
Any further work done by the County on this issue will include input from all relevant stakeholders as well as surrounding suburban communities.
Latimer added: “Going forward, my Administration will be looking into best practices to maintain a healthy market for both TLC and ride-share providers while also working to protect Westchester residents who choose to use either.”