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Car Services, Taxi Companies Expect to Be Extra Busy If LIRR Strike Happens

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TWC News: Car Services, Taxi Companies Expect to Be Extra Busy If LIRR Strike Happens
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Many businesses expect to suffer if there's a Long Island Rail Road strike, but some are preparing to be extra busy, and that includes car services and taxi companies. NY1's Ruschell Boone spoke with some drivers and filed the following report.

Terrance Smith said he's not hoping Long Island Rail Road workers go on strike, but if they do, he's ready to cash in.

"Yeah. Of course," he said. "I can't say no to that, but I feel for the people."

Smith drives for Queens Village Car Service. He's one of about a dozen extra drivers the company is putting on the road if the strike happens, possibly as early as Sunday morning.

Antoine Augustin, driver, Queens Village Car Service: It's good for me because I always work the overnight shift, but I'm going to be here at five in the morning because I don't know at what time exactly the strike will start. But hey, I am going to be here at five in the morning, definitely.
Boone: Ready to make some money?
Augustin: Oh yeah.

As part of his contingency plan, the owner, Keith Kucharnik, is making sure that his drivers can get to the base Sunday. He wants 35 cars available to maximize his profit.

"We know what 35 cars make per hour, so yes, it's going to be a spike in revenue, but it's not going to be like, there's no price gouging," Kucharnik said. "We might be able to double up a couple of customers if they go in the same direction, but there is a ceiling.

The cars will be lined up near the LIRR stop in Queens Village and outside the Jamaica station, but some people aren't taking any chances. They are making reservations now.

"We are seeing an influx of reservations for airports, for some medical appointments earlier into next week because of the uncertainty," Kucharnik said. "They're not sure, even if they're not using the Long Island Rail Road, they're not sure exactly how the overflow's going to affect the other modes of transportation."

The drivers are not sure what the roads are going to be like, either, but they said the money they stand to make would amount to a holiday gift in the middle of the summer.

"It is going to be a good number," Kucharnik said. "It will probably be something akin to, like, New Year's Eve."

Meaning the phones would light up like a Christmas tree.

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