After six years of providing taxi service for Lynbrook residents, David O’Neill sold Village Car Service to his competitor, Mineola-based All Island Taxi, on Oct. 25.
“We had no option but to sell, and unfortunately we had to sell on short notice,” O’Neill said.
He added that increased competition from ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, hindered people’s demand for his fleet of 15 taxis. “With the new technology that the competition has, we weren’t able to keep up,” O’Neill said.
So, when a representative from All Island asked to buy the fleet in October, he agreed. O’Neill declined to share how much he sold the 15 car fleet for, but said it was “not enough.”
Lawrence Blessinger Jr., the vice president of All Island Taxi, also declined to state how much his company purchased Village Car Service for, but said, “it just made sense to put the synergies together.”
Blessinger added that his company is “looking forward to serving the Lynbrook/East Rockaway community.”
Since Village Car Service opened in 2011, O’Neill wanted to use the taxi service to help Lynbrook residents. To do so, he offered $1 rides for senior citizens who needed transportation to doctor’s appointments and provided high school students with free rides on prom night. Last year, the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce recognized him as Small Businessperson of the Year for his work in the community.
“The Village Car Service was a wonderful service which benefitted the village greatly, in particular the seniors on a fixed income,” said Chamber of Commerce President and Senior Citizens Club liaison Carol Burak. “People are very sorry to see it go and will miss the great rapport they had with the owner, David O’Neill.”
O’Neill’s company also had loyal customers outside of Lynbrook, such as Long Beach resident Madlen Young, who relied on Village Car Service to pick her up from John F. Kennedy International Airport. “It’s so hard to get a cab to pick up at JFK without a long wait,” she said. “The [Village Car Service] just came in 10 minutes or less after I’d call for pickup. That is priceless for me.”
O’Neill said he would continue working in the area as the owner of Great Bay Realty in Lynbrook, and would remain a member of the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about All Island Taxi, visit allislandtransportation.com.