Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Queens Store Owners Say Transit Strike Would Hurt Business

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TWC News: Queens Store Owners Say Transit Strike Would Hurt Business
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Commuters are not the only ones worrying about a transit strike. Some Queens vendors who do business in the subways say a strike would derail their bottom line. NY1’s Ruschell West explains in the following report.

Martin Mota is used to giving haircuts at his barber shop in the Roosevelt Avenue subway station, but he'll be the one who takes a cut if there's a transit strike.

“This is the main entrance of the subway where people have to come through, and if they don't come through we don't make a living,” said Mota. “It's going to be difficult.”

Kishan Jethanandani usually stops in for a trim every week, but he'll just have to let his hair grow if there’s a strike.

“Sometimes when this guy is open early in the morning I get a haircut, because usually he's busy in the evenings. So his business is going to suffer,” said Jethanandani.

Vendors in the Roosevelt Avenue station say they're still recovering from last summer, when drivers for three private bus companies in Queens walked off the job.

“From 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. my business is about $$600. If there is a strike and nobody comes over here and buys something, I'll have a $$600 loss,” said Naym Patel of Queen of Sheeba Grocery.

Juan Fernandez lives in East Elmhurst. He doesn't own his flower shop, but he leaves his house at 4:30 every morning to open it. He says getting to work would be very costly for him if there is a strike.

“I can't come by taxi every day. I have to use the bus and the trains.

While Fernandez puts together bouquets, he and the others hope the MTA and the transit union throw the city a bouquet in the form of a settlement, instead of a strike.

“I hope that don't go through and they find a solution for everybody to be happy,” said Mota.

- Ruschell West
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