Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sitting Duck

I heard from one driver, who has both seen it happen to a driver in front of him, and also has heard from another driver who had it happen to him:

Avoid putting your money in the door pocket. People are going around walking up to taxis from all sides and reaching in through an open window or opening driver doors if they're unlocked, then grabbing moneys.

So avoid making your money too plainly visible especially to the people outside your cab. And it may also be helpful to not roll your windows open enough to let arms reach in when you're at a red light. Lock your driver door, and your other front door. Also give yourself some space before the crosswalk when you stop at a light, so that you have some rolling room if you see somebody walking close to your cab. If they nervously run up to you, while trying not to get your attention, then you might want to wiggle around with the reverse and the drive, or something to freak them out.

I dunno, personally I try not to get to nervous about these kind of things, but be on alert as these criminals are out there.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Can't Run. Can't Hide.

On Taxicab Almanac's latest post I mentioned two specific spots, complete with photographs, in which we should be careful (24/7) not to get pulled over. Scroll towards the end of the entry. These include the stop sign on Greenwich at Gansevoort and the Left Turn off 42nd unto Third. Keep it as snug as possible. The more you resemble a tractor trailer, the more at risk you are.

What if there's a street hail on the right side? Unfortunately the city of New York would rather you pull over on the left, get out of your vehicle, and shout "taxi available" at the top of your lungs across the avenue. If it's rush hour and all the cabs are occupied and/or off duty, the prospective passenger will indeed come running across when traffic has become less voluminous. Makes no sense, I know. But we must protect our licenses no matter what. Rest assure they're out to slap yours right out of your hand, for good if they can help it.

I was up there the other night, dropping off a passenger I had picked up in Manhattan. I was travelling south along So. Broadway when I came to red light at Morris Street. The three cars in front of me all had their left turn signals on. The street was poorly lit and when the light turned green I proceeded to pass these hovering vehicles on the right, as is the absolute norm in NYC. All of a sudden, one of those cars lit up in bright colors and a siren.

The 3rd precinct of the Yonkers Police Department was on my ass for breaking a state law: "passing on the right" (as if it were a highway). Both officers walked over. One approached my passenger to ask if I had picked her up in Westchester County. The other wrote me a ticket, but advised me to plead "not guilty" and he would work something out with the judge (not show up?). So I'm not worried about this incident. However, my tip for NYC cabdrivers: WHEN OUTSIDE OF THE 5 BOROS, DO NOT ASSUME THAT THE RIGHT LANE IS A FREE TRAVEL LANE. MY COP CLAIMED IT WAS A PARKING LANE. THE STREET WAS SO DARK HE COULD HAVE SPIT IN MY FACE AND TOLD ME IT WAS RAINING.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tree Lighting!

Avoid congestion at Rockefeller Center, or at least be aware of the congestion.

from 7pm to 9pm the tree lighting ceremony will take place at Rockefeller Center. avoid 5th Ave in the 50's. I wouldn't be surprised if 6th Avenue also has congestion.

all buses in the area are also being rerouted which may cause additional congestion, so perhaps it may be better to avoid the whole thing?

Perhaps you will get more passengers hailing in Times Square if that isn't too congested? If that's bad get out and go west, 51st Street tends to run well west from 7th Avenue.