Archive for February, 2012


Partition vs. No Partition.

These past couple of weeks of work have been fairly uninteresting.  Super Bowl Sunday was a great day of work, as I made more money that day than I did on Friday.  That will likely never happen again.  I did just come back from my very first excursion to Vegas however.  I certainly understand the hype and I will say that only losing $85 gambling over a course of 4 days can be considered a “success”.

Anyhow, I was waiting at the JFK Taxi Hold last night for about an hour and a half when I began thinking if having a partition in the cab is worth it.  NYC is the only place that I know in which they have partitions separating the cabbie from the passengers & it has its advantages and disadvantages.

Driving at night, I personally feel safer knowing that there is a divide between myself and the passenger(s) in the back of the cab.  I’m leery of strangers in general so knowing that I have this sense of privacy makes me feel comfortable.  Plus, the passenger(s) want their privacy also so we have our separate spaces…they don’t necessarily care what I do up front while I don’t necessarily care what they’re up to in the back.

On the other hand- particularly in a smaller cab, the partition restricts the passenger’s leg space in the back.  In my Volkswagen cab for example, if there were no partition, there’d be at least 6 more inches of leg space for the passenger(s) and they’d be much less bitching that I’d have to deal with.  Safety is still a concern for two reasons.  One- if some jackass still wanted to rob/attack you, he or she will find a way.  I could have my partition window completely closed, but if they wanted to hop out and do the “pay you up front” trick, they’ll at least try.  Quite frankly, very few cabbies are gonna leave their partition window 100% closed; I keep mine about 60% closed or so, but you’ll have passengers try to open it up further when they have a passenger seated up front and they want to converse with them also.  Two- in case of an accident or sudden braking, the passenger has more of a likelihood of injuring themselves with their heads smacking the partition.  Whereas with no partition, unless it’s a high-speed collision not much would happen.  Let’s face it, most cab accidents are NOT high-speed at least here.

If you’re an introverted cab driver like myself, having the partition is cool because you feel like you have that sense of privacy & having your own space.  A more extroverted cab driver however is not a fan because they feel like they cannot communicate with their passengers as well with one as without one.  I feel like you can easily have meaningful conversations with passengers with or without a partition & still get the same amount of tips so I think in that aspect it’s a wash.   Safety-wise, I don’t think having a partition necessarily deters that rare chance that you may get robbed/attacked.   Having a camera installed in the cab will be more beneficial in catching the attacker than simply having a GPS that can track where the attack happened.  What good does that do?

If you ask me, I am a fan of the partition.  However, I feel that the majority of cab drivers do not like it.  As far as passengers are concerned- I’d say that they’d rather have no partition…but ultimately their chief concern is getting to their destination as safely as possible.  What are your thoughts?