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With Transit Strike Possible, TLC Outlines Contigency Plan

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TWC News: With Transit Strike Possible, TLC Outlines Contigency Plan
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The Taxi and Limousine Commission has a plan in place just in case there is a transit strike next week. Wednesday, they called an emergency meeting at LaGuardia College to outline that plan for business owners in the industry. NY1's Ruschell West has more:

Cabbies may have reservations, but some are waiting to pitch in if there is a transit strike.

“It would be upsetting to everybody in every industry,” said cab driver Al Schneider, “but I think cab drivers on a whole will do the best they can and make the most of it.”

If transit workers walk off the job, the city has a contingency plan in place that relies heavily on the taxi industry. The Taxi and Limousine Commission said it is counting on more than 12,000 yellow taxis, livery cabs and black cars to line up at group ride locations around the city.

Wednesday, the TLC announced there will be 21 designated sites in Manhattan, including Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, Columbus Circle, the George Washington Bridge and Wall Street.

There will be five locations in Queens: Shea Stadium, Kennedy Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Queensboro Plaza North, and Long Island City at Hunters Point; two in Brooklyn: at Court Street and Borough Hall and at 95th Street and Fourth Avenue; and one in the Bronx, at Yankee Stadium.

Yellow cab passengers will have to figure out how to split the cost of the meter, plus each will have to pay a $$2 surcharge. Passengers in livery cabs and black cars will each have to pay whatever the normal rate is for the ride.

“It's not going to be the answer to all of our transit problems, but they are going to help out as best as they can,” said TLC Commissioner Matthew Daus.

No group ride sites have been set up on Staten Island; the TLC said that's because so many residents have cars and are expected to carpool.

There will be commuter van staging areas in all five boroughs. The TLC is hoping for 150 vans at nearly two dozen sites outside of Manhattan for the morning rush and nearly a dozen sites in Manhattan for the evening rush. It will cost $$1.50 per passenger to travel within the borough and a maximum $$4 for inter-borough travel.

The commissioner said if there is a strike, any driver caught price gauging will have severe penalties to pay.

“We are going to seek the maximum fines that we can charge, which will be more than it is now,” Daus said, “Thousands of dollars for drivers and owners, and possible license revocation.”

Vivian Barnes, a van operator in Queens, said passengers can depend on him.

“I will help the passengers in Queens wherever they want to go,” Barnes said, “and deal with them in a fair manner and respective way.”

--Ruschell West


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