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Alternative transit businesses kept busy during GRT strike
KITCHENER -- The Grand River Transit strike means plenty of business for alternative transportation services like taxis, car rental services, and Ubers.
Avis Car rental city manager Chris Murray says the usually slow winter season has seen a large boom since the strike began on Tuesday.
“On weekends you can get a car for as cheap as $20-25 a day,” he said. “With the strike I suggest, if it is going to carry into next weekend, to book now for then because everybody will be sold out.”
Waterloo Taxi president Peter Neufeld says they anticipated the boom in business once the strike began and brought in an extra call taker to help.
“I would think we have about a 30 per cent increase across the board since the strike started,” he said. “Just call a little bit early, give yourself a little extra time, and don’t wait until the last minute if you can add a half an hour to your travels.”
Neufeld adds that their 78 vehicles are close to capacity and that most calls are coming during the day.
One usual GRT rider tells CTV Kitchener they can’t afford to take an Uber or taxi every day and have been walking 30 minutes to take the train.
University of Waterloo associate professor Markus Moos says he realizes this is a challenge for many. He put out a tweet offering to drive anyone who would normally depend on transit.
Due to @GRT_ROW strike: If anyone who normally relies only on the bus and now finds it difficult to get to the grocery store or an urgent health appointment etc. Let me know, and I’ll see whether I can make timing work to give you a ride. Email me. firstname.lastname@example.org— Markus Moos (@Markus_Moos) January 23, 2020
“For some people it’s the only way of getting around other than walking,” he said. “They might be travelling a distance that would be over an hour on foot.
“I thought this might be a small way I can at least reach out, maybe help somebody, or at least inspire the community to reach out to others as well.”
Moos says no one has taken up his offer for a ride so far but that it still stands as long as the strike continues.