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Taxi Companies Gouged Train Passengers After Fatal Crash, State AG Says

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached a settlement with car service companies that overcharged commuters following the Metro-North train crash February in Valhalla.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached a settlement with car service companies that overcharged commuters following the Metro-North train crash February in Valhalla. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

New York Attorney General Eric Scheinderman has reached a settlement with two local taxi companies for violating New York's price gouging laws in the aftermath of the fatal Valhalla Metro-North train crash in February, Schneiderman announced Wednesday.

The price gouging occurred following the tragic train crash after which Metro-North commuters were left stranded.

White Plains-based Intrepid Taxi Corporation and Mount Kisco-based Eagle Car Service were both found to have overcharged a passenger in the aftermath of the crash, according to the statement.

State Assemblyman David Buchwald, a former chairman of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council, organized outreach to Schneiderman's office upon learning of one of the price gouging incidents on Twitter, a release says.

Buchwald saw a post from a Lewisboro resident who claimed her husband had been victimized by local taxi company. The alleged victim was traveling to Goldens Bridge on the Harlem Line and wound up stranded at the White Plains train station after his train could not continue north past the crash site, according to the release.

He reportedly hailed a nearby taxi, and the driver charged him more than 200 percent of the normal rate it would be to travel from White Plains to Goldens Bridge in Lewisboro, says the release.

Upon investigating the incident, Schneiderman's office determined that the catastrophic train accident, which shut down the entire Metro-North Harlem Line, caused an abnormal disruption in the transportation marketplace, thereby triggering New York’s price gouging laws.

A settlement was recently reached between New York State and the Intrepid Taxi Corporation, which included a fine of $375 and a refund equal to the amount that Alterio was overcharged, according to the release.

A second price gouging victim, a Manhattan resident traveling on the same train as Alterio was a customer of Eagle Car Service. He reported his claim directly to the attorney general's office. The car service was also fined $375 and ordered to refund the fare to the customer, Schneiderman's office said.

In another development Wednesday, the NTSB released more information and documents on the Valhalla crash. For that story, click here.

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