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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The View, from the Back of a Cab

Taxi, nyc
Photo by myself, from the back of a cab.

The back of a cab is dark and questionable place. But the front seat is full of lights and gizmos.

Tuesday night, I stayed late at work, then took a cab home. On the way back, I had an animated talk with the cab driver. It was my third cab ride of the day.

My first cab ride was in a hybrid car, and the cabbie told me about how much money he saved on gas. But then he was charged a special fee by the Taxi and Limo Commission. He was driving two shifts, back to back.

My second cab driver bemoaned the fact that he didn't buy a medallion when they cost $150k. They now cost about $800k. He boasted that he's driven a cab for 17 years but has never gotten a ticket for missing a red light.

And then there was my third cab driver, above. Only 25 years old, he had gotten his taxi license 7 months ago. Already he was wondering whether this would be his ultimate career, since the long hours and stress are unhealthy.

The young cab driver said the hardest thing about the job was 'controlling your mind', that is, staying alert to all the traffic, pedestrians, changing lights and other drivers making turns without signaling. That, and not going to the bathroom for long periods of time (!).

Related posts: Cabs Galore, on Lexington, Stuck on 8th Avenue, and Colorful Cab, in Midtown.


biebkriebels said...

The traffic must be exhousting I think when you are driving a car all day long.

Leslie said...

I can only begin to imagine what this line of work would be on a long term basis.

briannaasaro.com said...

I like this photo a lot. Brings me back to my days in NYC, going out at night with my friends and taking a cabbie home.

Terry at Blue Kitchen said...

Nice photo, Kitty, and great story! One of my favorite little New York memories is walking through midtown about two in the morning and spotting a parked, empty taxi. You never see that, and I was wondering why it was there. I got my answer as soon as the question occurred to me; right behind it was another parked taxi. The two drivers were in the front seat, eating from carryout containers. It was their dinner break.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

I wonder what year the cabs of New York became 'yellow'?
The drivers have my admiration.
Love the shot Kitty.

Banjo52 said...

The contrasts in the photo are nice and dramatic! Reminds me (as if I needed it) why cities and I don't get along for long.

When I was young, I romanticized cab driving (and long haul semi driving). They were two of my default jobs when I got that urge to say Take this job and shove it. I'm pretty much over it now, though I still love the open road in a car.

Sabra Divis said...

I think another difficulty about being a taxi driver is that you have to spend weekends and holidays working. You’ve got to be extremely flexible with the schedule. You also work unsupervised, so when trouble comes, you must be able to fix it yourself. But the good thing is you can work as hard or as little as you want, especially if you yourself are the owner of the taxi. You can also have a two hour lunch with your spouse; just make sure you inform the dispatch operator know how long you will be gone.
Sabra Divis