Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Summer's Weekend Day in the Life: Recorded on a Trip Sheet

Before we had the GPS devices that automatically record where we pick-up and drop-off our fares, these trip sheets were for us to write down the locations of each pick-up and drop-off. At the end of the day we had a sheet full of barely legible abbreviations we had written all day long in between green lights et-cetera. I think it has been two years since the GPS tracking was installed, and so from that point on, We've had a lot of spare room on these sheets for notes and scribbles. All we need to write down now is our credit card transactions.

In the summer time, on the weekends, there is a lot of street closures which need to be remembered. This day in particular was a complicated one. If you can make out my messy hand writing, I've written the following:

At noon there was a walk (probably a breast cancer awareness walk) on Seventh Avenue from Central Park to 42nd Street. The walkers then turned west on 42nd, and then south down 9th Avenue, oh but it didn't stop there. The Walkers then turned east on 23rd to Broadway.

That would sound bad enough, closing off multiple major downtown bound Avenues on the west side not only in midtown but also in Chelsea, and also closing major crosstown streets there too.

But then the AIDS Walk was also going on in the Upper West Side. At 8 am to 3pm, the walkers would go on Central Park West from 72nd Street to 110th Street, then proceed west on 110 all the way west to Riverside Drive to 72nd Street and then back to the park, effectively making a big square of streets where traffic might get stuck either inside of or outside of.

But there was more, on Amsterdam Avenue also in the Upper West Side, there was a street fare closing the Avenue abruptly at a small crosstown street forcing all 4 lanes of Amsterdam on to the tiny 77th Street.

Also there was a parade on 5th Avenue on the east side of the park, so we pretty much had to avoid going downtown from the Upper East, or West Sides. Avoid being in the Upper West entirely, and also avoid going downtown on the whole west side, but crosstown couldn't be done without taking a day below 11oth street, or above 23rd street, that's all of Manhattan that we use, except for the little downtown neighborhoods which usually have customers who need to travel uptown.

Oh and also there was the Brooklyn Festival in Park Slope.

On a day like this you don't take any breaks in the early early morning, try to get as much money as possible then, and when it becomes too ridiculous you give up. Actually the miscellaneous walk down 7th Avenue et-cetera was barely existent. There was only a brief moment in time when 23rd Street east bound was completely jammed. So really the strategy was simple, avoid uptown, and work with crosstowners below 23rd.


Cloudia said...

Oh yeah, trip sheets. Useless unless taxi control (or HPD- honolulu pd) demanded to see them. Make money while the sun shines...some things never change in the taxi game.

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Gusgamashuq Abunoori said...

The Pulsar meters in my garage's cabs print out the credit totals at the end of each shift. The trip sheets are completely nonexistent.
I'm surprised you have to jot down credit transactions even.

NYC taxi photo said...

We don't really have to, but it helps to keep track incase a receipt doesn't print. sometimes they give a trip sheet with a space set aside just for recording credits and sometimes they give us this older sheet too.