Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Wishful Yearning: Citizens' Band!
OH HOW I WISH THERE WERE STILL CB RADIOS IN OUR TAXICABS.
We are the only city that is strictly street hail and no dispatch.
My main source of desire for this feature of the past is because....
IF WE WERE A TIGHTLY KNIT NETWORK OF HACKS, CONNECTED ALWAYS BY CB RADIO....
we'd be able to keep each other out of traffic jams, street closures, slow-moving airport holding lots, dangerous situations, etc..
We'd be able to summon each other toward stretches of plentiful street hails.
We'd be able to provide each other with directions and answers to passengers' questions. Those of us in the immediate vicinity would be able to come to each others' rescue in the event of an assault or robbery, or to assist in the event of a flat tire or dead battery.
Around the time everyone switches from one shift (driver) to another, we could relay, negotiate, and match up fare destinations with garage locations.
But this thought is quite a long shot, considering we can't even touch a cell anymore. However, the difference is that these transactions would be brief, concise, and very utilitarian. A far cry from the constant jibba jabba of truckers on the highway, or of the way cabbies have been known to utilize their cell. There could be different stations for different neighborhoods, languages, and purposes. The possibilities are endless.
There is in fact still a small handful of owner-operators in NYC that equip their taxicabs with a CB radio. They mostly just communicate with each other, when in proximity, especially when deciding whether to wait at an airport taxi pound or not. These old-school hacks are all 30+ year veterans of the yellow force.