With stories of Hurricane Sandy scam artists popping up out of the woodwork, it's always nice to hear that there are some good people out there helping each other out.
Dr. Sujatha Balija, a London doctor, had come to the U.S. for the annual American Society for Clinical Pathology in Boston, the Boston Globe reports. But after taking a short trip to the Philadelphia area, Balija found herself stranded about 575 miles from from Boston when Hurricane Sandy hit. With trains, planes and buses not running, Balija had few choices on how to get to the Wednesday conference.
“I had no other options,” she told the Globe, “So I booked a taxi.”
The trip took Balija over eight hours -- as her driver was forced to avoid flooded interstates along the way -- and given the high demand for transportation after the storm, it could have cost her far more than usual.
But in a surprising turn of events, Balija's driver actually reduced her fare. Instead of charging her the typical $1,000 rate from Philadelphia to Boston, Zohar Arzi, of Rosemont Taxicab Company, only charged her $750. Despite a gas shortage that's plaguing drivers across the Northeast and causing them to lose an average of $200 to $300 per shift, Arzi’s company decided to charge Balija less because she had a professional obligation.
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Good deeds like Arzi’s haven’t gone unnoticed in Sandy’s wake. Jon Candelaria, a 25-year-old from New York City, selflessly left his apartment on the Upper East Side to rescue a cab driver who almost drowned to death after a 14-foot storm surge, the Daily Mail reports. Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker even went as far as inviting neighbors without power into his own home after the storm.
Companies have also done their fair share for storm victims. Comcast provided wi-fi to noncustomers, New York Sports Club offered showers to displaced victims and General Motors donated trucks and money to help with relief and recovery efforts, according to Business Insider.
Dr. Balija was one of many travelers who in the wake of Sandy has few options for getting around. The storm grounded more than 18,000 flights, according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware and more than 7,000 flights were canceled on Tuesday alone. Travel delays were so extensive that they affected most parts of the country. 146 departures and 124 flights were canceled on Monday in the midwest, the Detroit Free Press reports.
On Nov. 1, commuters from New Jersey trying to get into the city faced 60-minute or more delays, the Washington Post reports.
Meet the heroes of Hurricane Sandy: