Krista McNallyMar 1, 2018, 8:40 pm

Officials push bill that would utilize ride-sharing fees for Long Island transit

Fees that are funded locally on Long Island currently go to the state

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MASSAPEQUA — State representatives want fees paid on Long Island by ride-sharing returned to the transit systems on Long Island to benefit customers locally.

"It’s about time that we did more to keep our money here on Long Island where we can oversee its investment and maintain local control," Assemblywoman Christine Pellegrino said.

Assemblywoman Pellegrino and state Senator John Brooks are calling for the passage of legislation which will direct fees from ride-sharing services, which currently go into the general state fund, back to local governments.

"The important thing about this bill is that it is not a new fee. We are taking a fee that has been established and redistributing it," Senator John Brooks said.

It’s estimated that 4 percent of ride-sharing fees would generate $24 million dollars to local government which could be distributed to transit systems like the Nassau Inter-County Express bus and the Long Island Railroad. However, officials don’t have a plan for how the money would be distributed.

“We have got to get put in place the transfer of these funds from the state first. Then we can work out the percentages of what’s there,” Brooks said.

Funding concerns are also behind a proposed Suffolk bill by Legislator Bridget Fleming. The bill would impose a six-month stop to ride-share companies.

Fleming says it's about money. The state gets a surcharge and the county gets nothing, she believes.

“My bill is really proposing just a pause so we can go about it the right way and ensure the considerations that we should have been able to look at before ride-sharing came in,” Legislator Fleming said.

In both the state-proposed bill and the Suffolk bill, elected officials are seeking to have the fees returned to Long Island to benefit the customers who paid them originally.

"We will take those fund collected locally and use it here to assist our mass transit systems," Brooks said.

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