Every now and then I feel like I need to save my energy, and so I weigh the pros and cons of waiting at the airport.
The cons: I may make very little money, I may be missing out on the streets of Manhattan, and for all the stress I saved criss-crossing Manhattan, I could get the same level of stress all in one heap with a JFK ride into the city. comparatively when it's a 3 hour wait during the busiest hours of taxi driving in the city and then a 1 hour or more drive into the city, that equals to an earning of only 45 dollars, 42.98 if they pay with credit card. Tipping is crucial after you've wasted all this time.
The Pros: While I wait I can sleep in the car, take long walks through the parking lot and people watch and car watch. There are so many interesting varieties of taxicabs available now. Did you know that taxi owners can now purchase all wheel drive Toyota Highlanders that don't need to be hybrids? there is a side of home fries at the cafeteria that I can order for only 3 dollars which contains nothing I'm allergic to in the ingredients. Amazing things can happen in the income department as well, but they are rare. I can get say a short haul trip to somewhere in Brooklyn for as much as 60 dollars, more money than Manhattan with a bigger tip too, Brooklyn passengers tend to tip more, a fact which is changing now as richer people are migrating to further parts of the city, they tip less of course. A short haul grants me permission to head back to the same airport within 90 minutes and cut to an express line and hopefully another short haul! but of course what are the odds? Never have I gotten this lucky, but I think you can get a trip to Long Island where you negotiate the price and still receive a short haul pass. The passes are given to us to encourage us to come back, and also as an apology to us because more money is made in short time in the borough of Manhattan. I've had days where it didn't feel particularly astounding, but my time between fares would be between 2 and 5 minutes, with my time spent with passengers at only 10 minutes or less. That is key, quick customer turn around, and tips in the 2 dollars range per ride. You get both of these, and it's like the good old days again, but yeah it's like a once a week phenomenon. The abundance of yellow cabs and new drivers is confounding even on the slowest days, and their reluctance to care for their own safety is also exasperating.
The Holding Lot after the morning rush. It has probably just emptied from 100% down to 30% capacity, but it is starting to slow down. The wait if lucky may still take 1 hour. These two cabs in the foreground are parked unconventionally out of line, one must've lost its turn with a dead battery, and another brother cabbie is helping with a jump start. Since the whole thing is going down right in front of the dispatching office, they should accept him back out of the hold lot with a pass to his assigned airline terminal, and hopefully the helping cabbie will also be accepted back into his place in line.
J.F.K. is a welcome reprieve from the madness:
About every twenty minutes a plane would pass over the holding lot and across the Expressway to the landing strip:
After a trip to the bathroom and maybe a quick lunch or prayer, this cabbie is turning around deciding to drive back empty rather than wait on the long taxi line. The cab lot I believe holds around 1000 taxicabs: