Friday, December 11, 2009


Most of my airport passengers mistakenly think the taxicabs that pulled up to the long line at the terminal simply just ventured in freely off the streets or directly from having dropped someone off at departures. They have no clue that there are enormous "holding lots" with dozens of rows where cabdrivers must park in the order they arrive and idle (engine off) for anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, before being dispatched into a specific terminal with a little paper pass that either prints out of a machine or is handed to them by personnel.

Both La Guardia and Kennedy's taxi holding lots have either a cafeteria or a snack kiosk that are almost as expensive as the food courts inside the terminals. It's a captive audience either way. Another thing these unknown taxi holds have in common is that the walls around their restrooms are completely covered in ads made crudely by drivers offering and requesting the lease or purchase of a taxicab. Owner-operators looking for partners to split shifts with. Garage drivers tired of dealing with massive depersonalized fleets. And every now and then a bulletin board style photocopy of some information relevant and dire to all hacks.

1) PROBASHIBARTA: A Bangladeshi community newspaper.
2) Where is the name 'Miboun' native to? My guess: Tunisia.
3) Available in Hicksville? How many NYC hacks live in Nassau?
4) You want to BUY a taxi. Not a Bay State Taxi. Massholes.
5) "CAB FOR SALL?" Sall already has a cab. Put it up for sale.

Below is a call to action about this past Halloween's assault on a cabbie by 4 masked men in Staten Island. It demands we get the same protection granted to Metropolitan Transit Authority workers. A sign on the partition, just as on the trains and buses, that says it is a felony and a federal offense to assault a cabdriver. You can click on the picture to zoom in.

The requested upgrade reminds me of New Yorkers that tell me they used to be able to threaten parking ticket cops with violence until it became so prevalent that they were made an official part of the NYPD. It also reminds me of last night's passenger's account of what she witnessed while sitting on her porch, on Hemlock Street and Jamaica Avenue in East NY. A Chinese food delivery guy on a bicycle stopped to check an address. Four teen boys attacked him from every direction. They punched his face, kicked his guts, took his food, and stole his bike.

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