Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shift Shots -the fare evader

I'm pretty sure if you want to see the picture super big, you can click here. Oh darn, you can't see it, unless you're a member of yahoo or flickr. No big deal anyway, the image doesn't get any better when it's big.

I waited at 8th Avenue just before the sun came up, between 22nd and 23rd Streets. There were police cars parked double or triple at the corner of 23rd. Rather than funnel around that, I waited where I saw one man who looked like he might want a cab. Unfortunately he just wanted to cross the street. I waited for a few more minutes and just before I left, this kid wanted in, and he asked me if it was alright, even told me where he was going before he got inside. As the fare of 11.70 dictates, we pretty much made every light we could. He got off at 103rd street and Manhattan Avenue without paying, and walked slowly away. He didn't seem threatening to me, but I didn't feel adventurous enough to run and tackle or anything. It's a shame the easy way to stop him would be to run him over, so he's taking some severe risk, I just thought I'd scare him some more by taking his picture, unfortunately that stupid light masks his face from clear identity.

Thoughts on this subject: it'd be better to pick up somebody whom you know where they've come from, he came from behind to ask for a ride. It'd also be best not to stick around a possible crime scene to wait for a fare, hahahaha, oops. Any inkling of disrespect should be a warning: he hollered at some girls as we passed the New Yorker Hotel, and called them bitches. But also, any inkling of ultra respect should also be noted, why would he need to ask before getting in? He already comes in with a cloud of suspicion. And so, in 4 years of driving the early morning shift I suppose this goes down as the 4th non-paying customer. One customer was rich and went upstairs to get her purse but never came down, another were two real shady dudes who went from Times Square to a project of apartments at Cropsey Avenue near Coney Island (that was major scary), and there was a guy who just had to go crosstown from a housing project in Chelsea, to Stuyvesant-Town, he wanted to put up an argument with me about how I'm greedy and stuff, which he had all planned out, but I told him it was just over 5 bucks, and it doesn't really matter, just get out quick so I can pick somebody else.
"I have a hundred upstairs"
"dude, I don't care about your hundred upstairs. Don't worry about it."
"Oh thank you so much, you are the nicest driver I've ever met."

yeah, yeah. Have nice day folks.


Cloudia said...

Yeah, you're a smart driver....we meet the best and worst of people, eh?


Comfort Spiral

NYC taxi photo said...

Oh thanks, it just seems like flat out luck mostly doesn't it? or fate, karma, what have you, but I was letting my guard down recently, so I guess I'll be putting my intuition back into gear again now.

EV Grieve said...

Very interesting story. Curious how calm he was walking away. I recall seeing someone not pay a cab driver — he flung the door open at the corner and started sprinting! Way to draw attention!

Anyway, four non-paying fares in four years seems pretty good to me.

Eugene Salomon said...

This may actually be the same guy who beat me for a fare a couple of weeks ago. He went from Midtown to 88th and Amsterdam, also coming up to the side of the cab and telling me where he was going before he got in, although he ran, not walked away. I wish that light wasn't blocking out his face. Fortunately, like you, it's a rare occurrence, but like a slap in the face nevertheless.

Gusgamashuq Abunoori said...

Always feel free to call my number if you're in some sort of jam. If I'm anywhere remotely near the vicinity, I'll come flying over to get your back. No doubt! Even if it means holding down a fare beater until cops arrive.