You had questions on twitter….I have answers.
1) What’s the strangest request you’ve gotten from a passenger?
As a cabbie, on occasion you (unknowingly) pick passengers up who need a ride to drop off contraband they are selling, then drop them back off at their original spot.
2) Who’s the most famous person to ride in your cab & did they tip well?
I dropped off some lady to the W-Times Square who was supposed to be on Good Day New York the following day to promote a book. Can’t remember her name- which goes to show the lack of famous people I have dealt with.
3) Why do I never see your taxi when I am trying to find it while drunk in SoHo after work events?
Cause driving a cab is akin to a Choose Your Own Adventure novel…except you don’t really have a choice as to where your cab ride is gonna take you.
4) Do you get a percentage of fares as pay + tip, or just tips, or base salary?
The driver keeps everything outside of tolls & the 50 cent MTA surcharge.
5) Most annoying fare you’ve ever taken? In regards to location/distance vs money earned. Was it worth it?
Very tough one but I would say picking up a group of 3 extremely drunk dudes that I picked up from the Upper East Side. Had the meter running. They told me to shut it off and that they’d pay $35 for me to take them to Brooklyn. My dumbass didn’t realize they said Avenue U though. So not only did I screw myself out of at least $15 but they puked inside of my cab. They only paid the $35 as well. It was my 2nd year on the job and that is a mistake I will never make again.
6) You ever have a couple try to have sex in the back?
No. You’ll have some couples have intense makeout sessions but I think because I keep my cab as fresh as possible on the inside that they are less likely to get frisky like that. If I were driving a Crown Victoria from a garage though, I am sure I would have seen it already.
7) Most obnoxious fare? Group of really drunk girls, non-English speaking tourists, snobby hipsters…
In general- I would say your Friday night/Saturday night LES (Lower East Side) crowd.
8) Do Taxi drivers get in accidents often?
No more than your regular drivers do in my opinion. It just appears to be heightened because taxi drivers log many more miles in a year than your average driver plus the media highlights them also. Accidents are generally mild though like fender-benders. Accidents like the one I incurred in October are the exception rather than the rule, tho.
9) Do you share the cab with other drivers? Are you responsible for deductible if you put in claim for fender bender?
Yes I have a family friend who drives the cab during the day. In regards to insurance claims, no.
10) How easy is it to spot tourists? Do you charge tourists more?
Usually by how they try to hail a cab. If they look awkward doing it you know they are a tourist. Also depends on the location. Most likely you’re gonna pick up tourists around Times Square. And no tourists are charged the same as everyone else. Just don’t expect them to tip as much, if at all, though.
And so on.