Thursday, June 27, 2013

Way Cool!

So, even though i am not driving for the summer, I do have some fun news to share with you guys.  A few weeks ago, I was asked to do an interview with  I didn't know when it would be published.  Found out it was posted on their website today.  They also sent me a package with some Taxi Fare Finder swag.  Pretty awesome, I think.  Anyways, check out the interview(and some of the other neat stuff on their website too! Super excited to be a part of it!

Click HERE for the interview!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

One More for the Road

So this is my last shift related post for a little while.  I work at a summer camp every summer, and this summer is no exception.  Part of the reason I love driving the cab is the flexibility it affords me to do things like run away to camp every summer.

I drove my last shift on Monday night.  It was raining, which seems to be the trend lately.  And of course the cab I had had horrible wipers.  Well, it wasn't so much that the wipers themselves were bad, but the motor for them only had two settings.  On and off.  It was okay most of the time since the rain wasn't too bad for the most part.  But there were a few points in the night that the rain came down really hard and I had a hard time seeing the road and had to pull over and wait it out.  Not so good when time is money.

The night was overall pretty steady, but not a lot of big fares.  I only went out of Manhattan once the whole night which is pretty unusual. 
My one fare out of Manhattan was to Brooklyn Heights, so I stopped for a minute and snapped this photo from the Promenade
I decide that since it was my last shift for the summer, I was going to stay out as late as I could.  Things quieted down for a while and I wasn't getting much business.  I did something that I never do.  I sat in a taxi stand.  I pulled up to the stand in front of Grand Central.  Another cabbie friend of mine had texted me that he got a fare from there to JFK, so I was hopeful I would have the same sort of luck that late at night.  I sat there for about 20 minutes.  A woman had gone up to the taxi ahead of me in line, but the driver was asleep, so she came on over to my cab.  She wasn't going far, but was from out of town and needed to get back to her hotel. 

I figured after that I would head back to the stand, but then things picked up for me again.  After a certain hour, a lot of drivers call it quits for the night around the time a lot of bars are closing.  So with less competition and more customers, I managed to get several more fares in my last hour.

My last fare in Manhattan was a pair of guys who were heading home after a night at a bar.  They were in a pretty jovial mood and were pretty psyched to have a woman driver.  We joked that I was secretly a driver in Fast and Furious.  They were super nice and tipped me twice!  So that's never bad.

I realized how late it was and needed to get back to my garage soon, so I headed over the bridge back to Brooklyn.  As I was headed up Flatbush Ave towards the garage, I was waved down by a couple.  They ended up going pretty close to my garage, so it worked out perfectly.  The last few extra bucks in my pocket for the night.

I finally made it back to my garage a little after 4:30am.  The sun was starting to rise.  I haven;t made it to sunrise in the cab yet, so it was a little surreal.  By the time I settled up with the office and drove home, the sun was all the way up. 
Early morning light in the sky over the gas pumps at my garage.
Well, Folks, that's it for now.  I wont have any new driver stories for a while, but if I come across anything to share, I will.  Until then!
Taxi stand sign at JFK.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I managed to get all my re-application stuff done and handed into the TLC in time.  I was amazed how quickly I had my new license in my hands.  Less than a week and I had it.  Thank goodness.  I was so stressed about the whole process.

I had taken a little time off for my sisters wedding.  I had planned to hit the road last Thursday, but a migraine struck me and by the time it went away, it was too late for me to get a cab.  I went to the movies instead.

I debated working on Memorial day, and eventually(despite me kicking my feet in protest to my boyfriend) I was convinced to bite the bullet and go to work.  Rent is due soon, so it had to be done.  All day I was sad to not be at the beach with my hula hoop though. 

Working on Memorial Day wasn't bad.  I got to my garage and since most of the drivers took off for the holiday, I got a car right away.  It's always nice to get out of the garage early.  Gives you just that much more time during the day. 

Early on, the city was quiet, although I kept a steady stream of customers.  But the streets had very few drivers, which is nice.  I had a fare to LaGuardia Airport and made it in really good time.  Even on the way back, which I feared would be slammed with end of holiday traffic, it was a smooth ride.

The worst of the traffic I had all night occurred when a particular situation on the Brooklyn Bridge caused the NYPD to close off the ENTIRE bridge.  This meant traffic around the bridge and on the alternate bridges got pretty bad.  I had a fare to Brooklyn around then.  I managed to avoid the worst of it all by taking the Williamsburg Bridge which the radio said was the best option.  But once I got over the bridge into Brooklyn, things on the streets were a little on the slow side because of the closure.

Things got a little busier as the evening progressed and more New Yorkers returned from their holiday weekend.  By the end of my shift, I had a nice chunk of change in my pocket, and very little stress after a nice, laid back, shift.
I played tourist with my Family from Norway who was visiting for my sisters wedding.  We saw this shirt in Little Italy.  It has been suggested that I start selling these/giving them out to my passengers.  Hilarious.
 Last night was not as nice, unfortunately.  It was raining.  Rain is a pain to drive in.  Everyone goes slow, its harder to see(especially with sub-par wipers) and the roads are slippery.  To top it off, the heat in my car didn't work, so when my windows fogged up, I froze to death because the vents blasted icy cold air and because of the rain, I was a little drenched.  Very uncomfortable.

Usually rain can mean good money for a cabbie.  Last night, that was not the case.  It was slow.  After the holiday weekend and with the weather being what it was, people just stayed home.  Also, after taking Monday off, more taxi drivers were out to make up for their lost day.  So competition was stiff.  Usually by about 9pm, I have made enough to pay my lease and gas expenses.  It was much later last night, and my overall take for the night was very low.  The only thing that really put me over the super-duper low mark was my last two fares.

I had been cruising downtown for over an hour looking for a fare when I finally pick up a girl on 14th street.  She was headed to Brooklyn.  After I dropped her off i debated heading back into Manhattan.  But it was late and I probably wouldn't catch another fare in the city.  So after dropping her off, I figured I would head over to Park Slope to maybe find a passenger.  I had gone all the way to the far end of the Slope and back when I was just about to give up and go home.  Then I saw a guy cross the street.  He didn't look like he was going to hail, but I used my Jedi mind tricks on him, and as I was about to pull out from the light, he stuck up his arm.  He was actually going pretty deep into Brooklyn, and not too far from my garage.  So I managed to get that one last fare that pretty much saved my night from being really awful before heading home.

I am glad Monday was decent because SOMETHING had to make up for the crappy night last night.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I am in the process of renewing my hack license.  It is the biggest pain in the ass.  Part of this blame goes to me because I  misread my renewal forms.  I read the part where my annual drug test has to be within 30 days of my expiration as I had to send in my renewal within the 30 days.  Nope.  It was supposed to be BEFORE 30 days.  So now I am going to have to pay a late fee.  But everything has to get to the TLC before my license expires.  I have 16 days now. 

Earlier this week I went for my drug test.  I don't expect any surprises there.  Yesterday I went in for my required refresher course at the taxi school.  I get that they want to keep drivers educated, but this course is so unnecessary.  Almost as unnecessary as the 10 minute sex trafficking education video I also had to watch online.  Ten minuted of listening to someone read what was being displayed on the screen(all text).  All to tell us to not be pimps and to keep doing our jobs as we were.  Why make a video?  Just put out a form for us to read.  It would have taken me 3 minutes to read and not have felt like I was being condescended to by the TLC having someone read it TO me.  Because that's what us taxi drivers need.  Someone to read us documents.  Literally, he read it word for word as it was displayed on the screen.

Then there is the matter of my address.  I went to the TLC office a week ago so that I could change my address in the system.  I needed to do this just to do it, but mainly, so I could pay for my renewal online.  If your address doesn't match the one they show when you go to pay, then you can't pay.  Well, I went online to pay today.  The address is still my old one!  The woman at the TLC office said she was putting it in the system then.  Why, a week later, is it still not updated!? 

Everything about the TLC is so roundabout, jump through hoops, complicated and ridiculous.  I want to send everything to them.  I really do.  I want to get this renewal over with so I can stop stressing about it for another two years.  They just need to make it as difficult as possible.

Okay, I'm going to stop ranting now.  I just needed to vent a little. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cabbie stresses!!!!

So, I am currently in panic mode.  When I received my license renewal package, I misread the checklist that everything had to be submitted WITHIN 30 days of my expiration.  Well, it turns out that it is supposed to be BEFORE 30 days.  Still am able to submit everything, but I do need to pay a late fee, and it must, must MUST be in before my license expires.  Next week I have my annual drug test scheduled as well as my four hour refresher course.  Once I get those done, I can submit everything and stop worrying and stressing.

Oh, and one of the things I had to do for my renewal is watch this video about taxis and sex trafficking.  It was a ten minute "video" of just text with someone reading out loud what the text said.  And the whole thing basically was just to tell us 'don't be a pimp and keep doing your job'.  Gee, thanks!  Because before that, I was gonna start pimping.  Also, Its a good thing that you made a ten minute video when I could have just read this stuff off a sheet in 3.

IN addition to the stresses of dealing with that stuff, there are also the stresses of being in the drivers seat of a taxi.  A week ago, I had a first for me that I was hoping to keep at bay for as long as humanly possible. 

I had my first puker.

I was working on a Thursday, and things were going as they usually do.  It was later in my shift and I was on 46th st.  A guy waves me down and proceeds to place a pretty intoxicated young lady into my car.  She had a little difficulty telling me where we were going, but I eventually got the address from her and put it into my GPS.

As we headed towards Queens, she was pretty quiet, probably sleeping.  Something going over the bridge must have upset her stomach though.  Once we were over the bridge, she made a noise of discontent.  I looked back in my mirror and saw she didn't look well.  She asked me to pull over.  As soon as I got to the edge of the road she flung open the door and let loose.  I offered her a napkin to wipe her mouth and once she was collected, we pulled off again.  But at the next red light, she flung the door open again and spewed again.  Thankfully that was the last time. 

After I got her back to her home, I got out to check the damage.  I was relieved to find that she had gotten it all out of the car with the exception of a little bit on the edge of the door frame.  I decided it was late enough and I was far enough from the city that I was going to just find a gas station to clean up what was there, then head back home for the night.

So, I got that out of the way.  And I hope its at LEAST another year until I have to deal with that again.  Or never.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

When two bloggers meet

So, I know how much I suck. I haven't updated my blog in way way WAY too long. And it hasn't been for lack of material. I'll be honest. I have been busy and when I haven't been busy, I've been lazy. But aside from promising myself and others that I would update soon, I actually had something really really cool happen yesterday.

I was just driving around like I normally do. Had a late start to my day and traffic was brutal at parts of the city. But I had just dropped of someone on 57th and I turned the corner onto 10th. And there was a man with his arm up. He and his family hopped in and we headed to their destination.

We got to chatting. First about my car. Then it comes out that he actually purchased a retired taxi and, what do you know, has a blog about it. And wouldn't you know it, I have actually read his blog and totally dig it. He travels around in his retired cab and actually has some great stories and photos of his out of place relic. Totally cool.

He couldn't believe that I had read it as all the other drivers he had encountered had never done so. He got even more excited when I handed him my card for this blog. This, of course led to a fun conversation about the biz and the cars themselves. And after almost missing their destination being so caught up in conversation, we ended the ride with a photo in the front of the cab.

Totally an awesome bit of kismet! He found me on Facebook this morning and sent me a link to the lovely post he wrote about our encounter. I urge all of my readers to check both the post and the rest of his blog out. He is a wonderful writer and an awesome dude. Thanks Mike for making my day!!

To see his post and blog check out:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I want to be friends with this woman!

Strolling through the internet, I found this article.  It's a little old, but this woman is rad.  And I wish there were groups for us lady cab drivers like she had back in the day!