Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Uncertainties of Pick-up strategy

I try my best to pullover for drop-offs and pick-ups. Sometimes it helps to pick-up a customer who is more aware of their safety, but sadly more often, they pick whatever cab gets there first. Veteran cab drivers will most likely tell you that this isn’t the way to do things. You shouldn’t be making your living by stealing fares from others. Changing four lanes in the middle of full traffic going at 40 miles an hour should only be done once or twice a day, and not once or twice an hour. I am not saying I don’t do this on occasion, but if I see another empty cab set up perfectly in the shoulder lane, to the point where if I were to slide over and pick-up that fare I’d be cutting him off and possibly cracking my rear bumper, than this is reckless behavior. In addition, rather than cutting in front of anybody, a bus, a truck, a car, or a bike, you instead should pull back and come into the side lane after they pass. Oh also when you’re turning down a side street and cutting around a taxi that just finished picking-up or dropping-off, beep the horn once and look at the driver to see how ready they are to take off. All these pieces of advice might make you less money in the short run, but they most certainly will keep you on the road longer, the tortoise beats the hare, slow and steady wins the race.

I trailed off quite a bit; that was more safety strategy, than fare pick-up strategy. I had these two weekends about a month ago where I pulled into the taxi line at this diner I always tend to wait at. After finally getting to be first in line, and pulling up to the corner with the fire hydrant, 25 minutes passed where 3 or 4 fares all came out of the diner and took the cab that was behind me. What was I invisible?? So yes, that’s where I trailed off, apparently I pulled in so neatly that they didn’t recognize that I was available for hire. It seems people are more likely to grab a cab that is haphazardly situated, people are really stupid sometimes, but is it worth it always? I feel if you're going to be there for a while You might as well pull parallel to the curb, leaving enough space always to pull out. If people are too stupid to grab the correctly pulled over cab, then it was probably best not to have those passengers.

And again with the uncertainties, I took some people on a short ride across town from L.E.S. to TriBeCa. It was about 4 in the morning or 3 maybe, and they asked me if I’d like to pick them up later to take them to Bay Ridge. A ride to Bay Ridge is a beautiful ride, 20 plus dollars, and so I quickly said yes, but then I had my reality check and told them since I have to pick-up everyone there was no way I’d be able to get a call, and then drive passed 20 or so people only to pick them up. This was a sad realization about the New York City taxicab profession. I got another fare from that diner mentioned previously whom after making three stops including the last one in Bergen County right on the Hudson River in New Jersey paid me 60 bucks and asked me too to be their routine driver to take them home every Saturday. Oh if only I could, I’d be financially comfortable. These situations make me wonder if I should buy a Lincoln Town Car and get it registered with the Taxi and Limo commission. This way if they call me, I’d just switch cars and pick them up. That whole scenario is probably very complicated.

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