Gotham Logo Gotham Logo  
 
Online Discussions

Announcement

Welcome to the Gotham Center discussion boards. These boards offer our users a safe, friendly environment for discussions about New York City history. Please note that you must register before posting to the site.

#1 2013-08-24 12:11:50

Sal
Member
Registered: 2009-08-03
Posts: 2980

NYC Cab Drivers

I wonder what the average span driving a cab for a living is in NYC?

Has to be one of the most stressful jobs,always was.

Offline

 

#2 2013-08-24 12:23:01

Olivia
Member
Registered: 2009-03-01
Posts: 1334

Re: NYC Cab Drivers

I imagine that the burnout rate is huge. After 3 or 4 years, probably only those who desperately need the money are still at it. I may be very wrong, it's just my guess. Awful job. High stress & fear of being murdered.

Offline

 

#3 2013-08-24 13:14:18

Sal
Member
Registered: 2009-08-03
Posts: 2980

Re: NYC Cab Drivers

O-My Uncle Tony from Astoria drove a cab out of a LIC Garage. Worked Manhattan during the days. As an immigrant with limited skills,it seemed like he held that job for at close to 30 yrs..

Among the family conversations he use to tell us which celebrities he had as fare. He knew how to work Beekman Place,Sutton Place and the Hotel runs to La Guardia.

As a young teen, and listening to life as a NYC cab driver,I certainly had no desire to drive to earn a living.

Mike-I can relate to your reply, Cabbies use to rule on Park Avenue. As a weekend driver,I use to sit back and let them rule their turf.

Last edited by Sal (2013-08-26 14:17:41)

Offline

 

#4 2013-08-24 19:53:52

from 28th street
Member
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 572

Re: NYC Cab Drivers

Sal and Olivia,

You both are right. It's about the most stressful job in NYC.  What with more trucks,  bicycles, bicycle lanes, construction and the various work being done by Con Ed, it's got to be hell driving.  It's worse for passenger cars, too.

Offline

 

#5 2013-08-26 14:06:51

Mike
Member
Registered: 2008-05-15
Posts: 1925

Re: NYC Cab Drivers

I've never been a cab driver, but I get it.
Everything you said 28 st. is true, but believe it or not you get used to it, and it's just business as usual after a while. The only thing that I would never do is pick up strangers in my car.
As a young guy driving in Manhattan to clubs and MSG for concerts I found the cab drivers very intimidating on the road.
When I started to drive there in 1992 to make a living, my attitude had to change.
I quickly learned the cabbies road game and had no choice but to follow their logic when dealing with them on the streets. It turned out to be a good idea, there's kinda like a mutual respect among idiots and I can fit right in with them when called for in their game.
I never play the cab drivers game with passenger cars or trucks, just cabs. The truck drivers all seem to drive in a polite manner, and the other passenger cars remind me of when I first drove there so I let them slide in any situation.

Offline

 

#6 2013-08-26 15:01:30

from 28th street
Member
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 572

Re: NYC Cab Drivers

Cabs may be an issue, but what about bicycles?  They're a menace to pedestrians and drivers alike. You are right though, never play chicken with trucks or passenger cars.

Offline

 

#7 2013-08-26 16:28:48

Mike
Member
Registered: 2008-05-15
Posts: 1925

Re: NYC Cab Drivers

From 28th, playing with cabs is not playing chicken, it's just going with their attitude. They cut everyone off and expect everyone will do the same to them, they even cut each other off and they think that's normal. No harm no foul. Hence my "mutual respect among idiots" comment. They don't care one way or the other.
I treat cars and trucks differently because I'm just a very polite driver to all except for cabs in Manhattan.

The bike lanes are growing and making things worse by taking out entire lanes, but I have noticed for quite a few years, even at the very dawn of the bike lane stuff, that bicyclists
have actualy been stopping for red lights.
I did get hit by one sort of, on 41st between Mad and Park in the mid 80's.I say sort of because I was in good shape at the time, caught him out of the corner of my eye at the last second and braced myself and shoulder checked him (hockey style) as he hit me. He went flying, I just went on my way to GCT for lunch and darts.

Life in the big city.

Offline

 

#8 2013-08-26 20:18:39

Sal
Member
Registered: 2009-08-03
Posts: 2980

Re: NYC Cab Drivers

Working in Mid town from '75-'04-I lost count on how many times bike messengers have almost hit me. As we get older, the thought of a broken hip from a bike accident is the worst.
I have a few friends who are active in Manhattan and after one bike accident they carry cane or umbrella just to ward off the bikers.

Offline

 

#9 2013-08-27 10:36:43

from 28th street
Member
Registered: 2008-05-12
Posts: 572

Re: NYC Cab Drivers

Mike, I've so many near misses with bikes, and a few run ins. The worst ones are the weekend riders who ride on sidewalks, go the wrong way and just in general cause mayhem. I live quite near Carl Schurz park on East End Avenue.  The riders on the sidewalks are a disgrace.  It's against the law, but as I say, go call a cop.

Sal, I walk with a cane and usually just threaten them.

Offline

 

Features:

Donate Now!
Help support the Gotham Center

Join Our Mailing List
Sign up for the latest news and updates from Gotham.

The Gotham History Blotter
Read new non-fiction essays about New York City History.


© 2004-2007 Gotham Center for New York City History. All Rights Reserved.

The Gotham Center for New York City History
The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, Room 6103
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016-4309
Telephone: 212-817-8460
FAX: 212-817-1541
E-mail: gotham@gc.cuny.edu