Sunday, February 28, 2010

and today's mid-shift

(Correction) -->my info stated in this was false, for more accurate info about who drives cabs, look in my comments for this post-

Fist I gotta ad to the post from before- Satuday, that it was one of the simplist easiest days I had in a long while. that nice long break at LaGuardia, 2 hours or so, then the trip back to the Upper East Side. I got super lucky at my hotel and got a fare to St. Johns College. I never actually knew where it was, neither did they. but they stayed with me, when I told them I'd find it quickly on the map, no we didn't get lost, it was a very simple, and quick, and expensive ride, the best of everything. They were a family of four, and the daughter was going to meet the soccer coach there. They were from Florida, and when I joked around about my garage and how they may or may not give me more washer fluid, he went in to a little pakistani accent thing, so I light heartedly told them that they'd enjoy that our cab drivers are so international, they are huge soccer fans, and when the world cup is on everybody goes crazy. That got him off the bad track, and he was happy his daughter might get better service from New York's cabs when she tells them she's on the St. John's team. Coming back I decide to dawdle in the Long Island City area but the G train and the 7 appeared to be running, so I eventually came back to the garage to get more windshield wiper fluid. I told the St John's people that most of our cab drivers were from African Countries, and for your information, most of the garage crew is hispanic, be that Mexican or Dominican, with a few trinidadians I suppose, not that it really matters, but yeah we totally have to dispel these rumors of Pakistani drivers being the majority. Cab driving takes waves of immigrants, and the Pakistani wave is over. Despite all the trains running I still got a fare from Greenpoint to Park Slope, and then from Dekalb to Downtown Manhattan, Talk about fantastic, and to top it off, that last fare said, "my that was fast. If only everything was so fast. Have a blessed and prosperous day." Fantastic, and a good tip, 3 dollars on that.

Now for Sunday, as usual, Just splendid. I gave my car a wash, I never do that, but it was filthy and since it may not snow for a few days, maybe the car could use some shiny time. My first ride was a drunk twit, who came out of a bar in the Williamsburg area, by McCarren park, and she told me I went the wrong way, which I believed I did. Then when I checked the map, I realized that she told me I was going the wrong way before I actually went the wrong way. "If you hadn't yelled at me, I would've just taken you that way." I said, but it wasn't true, so I admitted it, "actually I was going to go this way anyway. Doesn't McGuiness go into Graham?"

"No, this is..... This is Humm boltedd," she said. Whatever lady, it's a block difference, so I told her the reality of cabbing.

"This way is all green lights, and it's cheaper this way."


"No, not bullshit."


"Well I drive a cab, and I'm telling you, that's how it is."

"Whatever, just drop me off on Jackson."

I drop her off, and she gets out and proceeds to walk in the wrong direction. oh, by the way, she actually gave me 6 bucks for the 5.10 ride, which is exactly what I wanted. And after remembering both the neighborhood and the map, I don't think there is a better way to get there, Graham may become one way in the opposite direction at Meeker, though I didn't notice that. whatever, it really is a difference of 40 cents, and people who know, know it isn't in the cabbies interest to waste their time jacking up the price dawdling around at stop signs and red-lights, and loops. Some drivers do, but they're stupid.

I head to the city, and just get ride after ride, small stuff, then I get the cycle of a lifetime. a Woman hails me in Times square, just wants to go to the Long Island Rail Road entrance of Penn Station, from there I proceed to 32nd where a cabbie is doing the old 'car broke down' thing, and a guy asks if I'm available, two others get in and they want to go to East New York, Brooklyn. Now that neighborhood or anything around there at the time of 4:53 in the AM is a little scary to me, but people have to go home, and they were very comfortable in the cab. I told them I was familiar only with Atlantic Avenue, they say that's good, and to make a right on Pennsylvania Avenue from there. I tell them I can't make a left on Atlantic from Flatbush, and they tell me taking the FDR is fine, which immediately indicates to me that price isn't an issue with them, which sets off a little waring to me, because going to such a broke neighborhood and not caring about the price isn't such a good sign, but they were talking so pleasantly about everything in the back that they were really alright guys. The one bad experience I had in the past was at about the same time, two guys with stockings on their heads in Times Square, came from the strip club, shouting about how it was one of their birthdays. They took me all the way to a project in Coney Island and ran out. So with this ride today, I took the FDR comment in good faith and decided they wouldn't mind the Brooklyn Bridge, but rather than the FDR I just drove straight to Chambers Street. Now a good sign, was that they also told me, that there were plenty of ways to get there, and also they never once complained about any of my driving, another tactic I believe some people can take is to throw a driver off balance so they can't think straight. Enough of the bad stuff, because the ride was fabulous. They requested hot 97, and we went along Atlantic for a while with the station not so much blazing, but at a decent level of 8. Long story short, I turned the meter off early at just under 30 bucks, they gave me 32 which was great.

Guess what wonderful luck falls to me next?! I am then so close to the Belt parkway, that I wind my way through the ghost town of a Saturday night, almost Sunday morning in the industrial area, find my way to Pennsylvania Avenue and just a few block before the Belt parkway, a guy hails me from the TSA, you know, the airport security. so we go to JFK. I am not used to going via the belt so we miss the exit and he directs me another way, where I proceed to miss the departure level, I turned the meter off a half mile early for him too, at about 17.00 and he gives me a twenty, I flick my off duty light on at the arrival level, so that I don't get confused for a cab with permission to pick-up, and I'm good to go, back to the city where the luck continues.

I don't know how, oh that's right, I was on my way to get the cab washed, when I found 3 people in a row who needed cabs at Columbus Circle, at 6am, on Sunday morning, going uptown. I get one, and she takes me all the way to Riverdale in the Bronx, a very nice upper, upper, upper crusty jewish neighborhood, that touches the top border of New York City. I get a bit lost getting back of course, because the Bronx hates me, I'm a Mets fan. I get two more rides from Columbus Circle, one up to a hospital across from St. John the Divine, with a lousy tip of 40 cents, rounding to the nearest dollar. And then a ride for someone running late who has to get to the retirement center to be a caregiver there I assume, all the way up in Washington Heights near Yeshiva University. It has been so busy today, it's gonna be hard for me to go back to relaxation mode, so that I can recuperate from my cold.


NYCabbie said...

lol, because I'm a Pakistani descend, I have to defend my position here, first Pakistani do not have horrible accent like indians do, yes we do have little twist of tongue though :-D
Second, Gosh we are not majority in taxi business anymore, now single biggest ethnic group is Bengalis(Former East Pakistan, in this sense we are still majority),but according to TLC records biggest language among cabbies is still Punjabi( which I speak) and cabbies with turbans from india also speak the same language. Just to get glimpse of majority ethnic group among drivers, you should go to JFK holding lot, lol , reason you don't see them in garages that often is because it is likley for south asian drivers(India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) to get a shift from south asian owners, or to get a cab directly from brokers and share shifts with other south asian drivers. Almost 40% drivers own their cars, about 20% owns medallion and the car and rest lease them from garages.
I love East New York jobs, I did three or four jobs to there, but for me it is most likely to go to jfk that hour.

hackneyed sojourn said...

You're spot on with the "you're going the wrong way" game some use to justify paying only half the fare. These days when they start it, I simply turn around and give them a knowing glare, and they remain silent for the duration of the trip.
Sometimes though, it's not deliberate. So long as I'm sure their miscalculation will be obvious to them in a short period, I simply proceed as I would anyway, pretending not to hear them. They're usually so grateful not to have been called out on it, that they tip around 100%.

NYC taxi photo said...

ah funny indeed, I was afraid after I published this that I didn't have any of my information straight. I did tell them also that 40% of cabs were owned by drivers, but I didn't get that quite right either. Oops!

I never go to jfk either, and i figured that with 60 % of cabs owned by garages, which is false logic, then what I was seeing was correct. So sorry about that.

NYCabbie said...

I'm sorry my comment was not intended to correct you, now I feel like regretting my previous comment.

For ticket I think your best bet is to go with the lawyer mentioned by Gil, and good luck with the ticket.

I think you might have to appear in 125th street DMV, and I heard from other cabbies that Judges here are more friendly compared to Rector street.

NYC taxi photo said...

thanks again, and by all means correct me when you can, I don't like putting out wrong information. I'd do the same.

Kesha Tickets said...

Its great to see that people are sharing quite profitable information with each other and now we can move our selves to a new era.