Decision At Fort Drum Could Cripple Taxi Cab Companies

Decision At Fort Drum Could Cripple Taxi Cab Companies

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Right now 11 cab companies do business on Fort Drum. But come October, Fort Drum will pare that down to just one company.

"Our business is 98 percent of Fort Drum," said Alan Johnson, who has owned East Coast Taxi for 15 years.

Right now, he and other cabs companies are able to pick up passengers on Fort Drum because they have credentials. But in two weeks, Fort Drum will choose just one of 11 cab companies to service the army post.

"It will destroy the business. Even though I live in Watertown, running a business here, I've always been dedicated to Fort Drum, you know, so it will be devastating," said Johnson.

Cab companies have all been sent a contract by the Army and Air Force Exchange Services, which regulates companies that do business on post.  

The contact would allow a single cab company to pick up passengers on Fort Drum for five years. An official with the Army and Air Force Exchange Services says it's doing this to have more oversight on who's picking up people on post.

"This way, they maintain higher standards of the the vehicle, the driver and you can kind of tighten up the system a little bit and make sure that, you know, our service members that are getting in these cabs that it's gonna be a safe cab and it's gonna be a safe driver," said Chris Ward, AFFES senior public relations manager.

However, the cab company that's chosen will have to give a portion of its business sales to the Army and Air Force Exchange Services.

Michael Kampney, who owns JNL Taxi, says he won't be submitting a contract to operate on post. But without getting passengers from Fort Drum, he says his business will take a major hit.

"Probably yearly we'd probably be looking at $100,000," said Kampaney.

We also reached out to some other cab companies. One owner told us he will be submitting a contract to the Army and Air Force Exchange Services, but doesn't understand why it just wants to use one company.

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