Uber service comes to Nassau Coliseum

By Robert Brodsky

Visitors to the Nassau Coliseum will be able to hail an Uber at a designated location outside the arena starting next month as the ride-hailing service begins to expand its reach across the county.

Through a partnership with Nassau Events Center, the Brooklyn-based operator of the Coliseum, Uber will drop off and pick up arena patrons at the Earl Ovington Boulevard parking lot entrance beginning with the Aug. 5 J. Cole concert.

The exterior of the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco on March 1, 2017. Photo Credit: AP/Eric Risberg, File

“Together, we will make rides to and from events on Long Island even more efficient for the Coliseum’s visitors,” said Alix Anfang, a spokeswoman for Uber, which began operating legally across the state on June 29.

Uber will pay for signage outside the arena, Anfang said, but she declined to discuss the company’s financial arrangement with Nassau Events Center.

Michael Zavodsky, executive vice president of Global Partnerships, which oversees partnerships for the Coliseum, said the pickup and drop-off area “will help our guests better identify how to access the venue and get picked up using the app for events.”

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The arena, now known as NYCB Live’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, reopened in April after a $165 million renovation.

Richard Mallow, executive director of MADD NY, said Uber would provide a transportation alternative for guests who have had too much to drink at concerts or sporting events.

“This is another opportunity for people to get home safe after partying,” Mallow said.

Nassau’s Taxi & Limousine Commission has recommended the county opt out of the state law allowing ride-hailing services and move to regulate the industry. The panel wants the county to drug test and fingerprint drivers and charge them licensing fees, as it does with traditional for-hire vehicles.

Legis. Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow), the legislature’s presiding officer, said in a Facebook post that while the GOP majority supports fingerprints and background checks for ride-hailing drivers, they are not planning to opt out of the law “at this point [in] time.”

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