Taxi companies prep for New Year's Eve amid recent robberies - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Taxi companies prep for New Year's Eve amid recent robberies

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

As New Year's Eve draws near, some businesses all over eastern Iowa are preparing for a very busy night.

Taxi cab companies are gearing up in a big way, because they all know New Year's Eve means partygoers will be out drinking.

"Well, it is big this time of the year, because the students are gone and they do actually come back to party this New Year's Eve," said Rafat Alawneh, owner of Number One Cab Company.

"We don't have that many, probably 3-4 vehicles," said Alawneh.

But that's on a typical day.

He says the number of cabs out on the streets will nearly double Wednesday night, and that means more drivers will have to come in.

However, getting ready for the New Year's Eve rush is only part of the process for Alawneh.

"Myself, when I used to drive, I had the gun pulled on me," said Alawneh. "There are certain areas we don't go that robberies did happen, and all the drivers are familiar with these areas."

After the recent cab robberies in the Iowa City area, he's installed protection.

"We do actually put cameras in our cabs right now," he said. "We do actually track the cabs and we have cameras in those cabs."

He says all Number One cabs have at least one camera inside to protect his drivers and the passengers. He says his drivers don't even know where the cameras are.

"As a taxi, you know it's a taxi, you go and flag it, you jump in the taxi, you know it's a top light on it," he said. "But Uber, it's not that big a deal for us, honestly."

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