29
Aug
11

Come on Irene.

Hurricane Irene wrecked havoc on my work schedule this weekend.  Even Friday night the streets weren’t bustling as much as they typically do and it had an ominous feeling to it.  While people were trying to take the media blitzing in stride, they also felt uneasy because they weren’t so sure whether to believe the hype or not.  Monarch Bloomberg didn’t wanna get shitted on by another mother nature fiasco and have people stuck on the rails/streets…so he completely shut down the MTA this weekend for the first time in history for anything weather-related.  I can’t blame him, even though this got a lot of New Yorkers upset.  This meant that cabbies would have a field day since we were the only method of transportation for those without cars or bikes.

Everything comes with a catch, however.

For one, the streets on Saturday were deserted.  I didn’t even bother going out on the streets that night but based on all the imagery, it appeared people were content in drinking their faces off at home.  Hell, I don’t know anyone who DIDN’T have some alcoholic beverage in hand.  Guess alcohol is now a requirement with any disaster kit.  On top of that, you now had livery/gypsy cabs and limos legally able to pick up street hails to accomodate people.  And then, you had zone pricing which worked in a unique way.  For each person to get in a cab, it was a $10 flat rate, and each additional zone you traveled through, you added $5.  The zones were Manhattan south of 60th street, north of 60th, and the 4 outer boros regardless of distance.  This would be more advantageous for some people than others.  You could technically hail a cab to Coney Island from Penn Station for the same price it would cost to go to Lincoln Center.

The zone pricing would be very advantageous during the weekdays…but since it was really only in effect on the weekend, and Sundays being the slowest day of the week for business it certainly wasn’t as solid as I anticipated.  With the airports closed, you had to drive into the city and the winds were whippin out there.  It felt worse Sunday than it did on Saturday and there were moments that I was a bit concerned about random objects possibly hitting me.  The tourists were out, but you know them…they love walkin around.  I wound up working from 4-6pm and picked up a mere three passengers:
1) Muberry & Kenmare to Kent & North 4th in BK- $15 each person= $30 (with $6 tip).
2) Church & Chambers to 9th ave & 30th street- $10 (with $2 tip).
3) 58th street btw Broadway & 7th ave to Battery Park City- $10 each person= $20 (with $5 tip).

Not a bad haul, but there were a ton of cabs trying to take advantage…but not enough people to take advantage of.  And then on top of that, my coolant light began flashing.  Really turned out that I had no coolant in the car…but I heeded that as a signal to call it a day anyway.  Since there still was a Tropical Storm Warning in effect while I was out there…I guess you can say I rode out my first ever storm.  And so on.

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