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Outer-Borough Commuters Facing Difficult Time Getting To Work

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Those that live outside of Manhattan are sure to have an especially difficult time getting to work or school should a transit strike occur next week. NY1's Kristen Shaughnessy was in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx Tuesday morning, where commuters are weighing their options, and she filed this report.

There are millions of people who would be impacted by a transit strike, each with a story to tell.

Shakira is one of them. Each morning she gets on the bus in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx. If that bus doesn't come next week, her company has a plan to get her and her colleagues to and from work, but even that might not work.

“Our job is going to have a carpool, so we’re hopefully going to do that, but since school is opening later I don't think it's going to work for me, and I don’t know how I’m going to get to work,” said Shakira. “I have young children, and schools will be opening late, and the carpools are going to be before 9:00, I'm sure."

Sara also takes the bus. She says if there's a strike, she'd have to find a taxi because her job is too far away to walk.

“That means I'd have to set aside more money every week,” said Sara. “I just don't think it's right. I understand they have problems - I have problems in my job too — but they’re going to have to work something out and find another way."

Chris Young would also be in a bind. He has three young children to get to school before going to work himself.

“I guess we'll be catching a cab or calling my sister and telling her to pick us up,” said Young. “[That can be expensive.] Then I have to go to work from here and jump on the No. 28 and then the No. 1 bus, so it’s going to be very difficult for me."

Businesses that rely on the commuter crowd are bracing for the worst. The Rainbow Restaurant Number Three on White Plains Road is just steps from the subway platform.

“We have a lot of commuters who come on and off the train who come in for coffee and breakfast, and if we do have a strike it will affect our business greatly," said an employee at the restaurant. “Personally, I don’t know how I will get back and forth between work if we do have a transit strike.”

One retired school teacher told NY1, while he's sympathetic to the transit workers, times are different, and he doesn't think they'll help their case by striking.

“Members of the TWU and other unions had better become accustomed to belt tightening,” said the man. “When New York had the money it was overly generous, and now neither the federal government, the state government nor the city government has these assets at their disposal, and I think New Yorkers are going to have to look into the mirror quite realistically and say, ÎThe glory days are over.’"

- Kristen Shaughnessy
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