Wednesday, July 15, 2009


NICE RUN: A CONSECUTIVE STREAM OF WORTHWHILE FARES. Mind you this developed during the otherwise slow mid morning downtime hours....

I fished two foreigners from the art galleries district at 10:15 am and ferried them to the Upper West by 10:30 ($16). Ten minutes later I had crossed over to the Upper East and caught yet a bigger fish. She'd just left dental surgery and mumbled a need to go to downtown Brooklyn. Clear and steady down the FDR and over the oldest bridge got us there by 11:00 ($25). The destination immediately became a point of origin when a lost couple approached the cab in search of Atlantic Yards Mall.

Upon dropping, a right turn on Atlantic Avenue yielded more fruit: a business lady who couldn't wait on the bus anymore ($10 for those two little fares). Within five minutes of that short trip into Cobble Hill I was positioned in the right place at the right time for a fare from the Heights to Kips Bay. She was a classic character of a Gothamite, although not memorable, aside from $20 made in 20 minutes.

Around the corner from that drop I came across an older lady with more humility and inner peace than all of that week's passengers combined. And like an angelic godsend, she had me stop on the very corner of 23rd and 9th where a younger girl and her suitcase awaited a yellow cadmium airlift to La Guardia. $37 in 35 minutes (gracious tip for graceful service).

Sitting outside Terminal B for the following 90 minutes might have seemed like the end of this "nice run", but the magic wasn't over yet. After a nice lunch break among the idle yellow rows of the central holding lot, a kindhearted couple from Toronto had me transport them to Gansevoort Hotel ($40 for friendliness and funicular finesse). The moment we pulled up, a doorman offered me a fare right back to La Guardia again. He wouldn't take my tip, but instead shook my hand and said, "you're the nicest cabdriver this taxi stand has seen today".

A rather pushy dude from southern California stumbled out of the lobby and made me guarantee him a $30 maximum. I said sure. It had been his first ever visit to NYC and the occassion was his 40th birthday. By 4 pm we were at the airport and he dished out $37 for the $30.10 on the meter. Must have been an enjoyable ride. With that it was time to return the cab and call it a day.

Long story short I grossed $200 in under 6 hours, which isn't incredible, but generally satisfactory considering I started that shift at 6:30 am, paid the garage $105 for licensed vehicle usage, and $25 at the gas pump. I had the overhead covered by the time this "nice run" began, so the math calculated out to around $15 an hour this time around. Not bad with the economy and all.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Dear Gil:
"I'm a reporter with RNN TV- an indie station which broadcasts throughout the Northeast. I'm doing a story about the future of NYC taxis and I'd like to interview you for our story. We're taking a look at the new technologies -- the TVs, cab-sharing pilot programs and multi-meter technology -- and I'd like your opinion. Will these "upgrades" affect drivers for the better/worse? What 'taxi charm' is lost with the TVs? Etc. Etc. We'd like to interview you in your taxi. When are you available for an interview? We can come to you -- in fact we'll be in NYC on Wednesday morning."
Elizabeth Wolff
Reporter, RNN-TV
Westchester, New York