The Non-Secrets of Taxi Driver Endurance

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Often I am asked just how do I do it, how do I stay alert and awake hour after hour behind the taxi wheel?   Is it multiple cups of coffee or prescription amphetetamines saving the day and night, stimulating me past insomnia to another indefinable state?  Or is it my favorite response to such questions, that cabbies are a new species: Darwinian genetic theory gone amok, allowing us to do what no one else can or even attempt, defying reality as if normalcy has anything to do with taxi driving.  Though many swear we are indeed monsters, something released from the yellow swamp, the real answer is none of the above, the answer is as plain as a cabbie’s nose.
Similar to the average marathoner it is all about training and building up endurance.  Like any sporting activity it is all about practice, practice, practice.  Determination is one large part of it.  Monetary incentive is also another major dimension internally spurring the driver on.  Making the big money hour after hour serves as immediate adrenalin, all those dollars flowing straight into your pocket keeping you focused and wide awake.  Cab driving is only about making money and nothing else.  Of course if the financial spigot is turned off or at a trickle it is time for a snooze.

When it’s busy the trick then is really a kind of self-hypnosis, repeatedly saying to yourself over and over: “I will stay awake, I will stay awake.”   Personally I have found twenty to twenty four consecutive hours not to be particularly difficult.  It only becomes problematic when trying to replicate the feat over a prolonged span of days or weeks.  I have seen it done but it isn’t to be recommended, as it clearly takes a toll on the physical and mental health of the driver.  Even the best long distance runner eventually must stop and rest.

This too is essential for the driver: knowing when to take a break or even a short nap, not only lifting the body but also assisting the spirit.  Attitude, keeping the proverbial “even keel”, especially during a down hour or two, lends balance to the driver’s determination to keep going.  Grim and sour-faced drivers quickly fall away.

While maybe not always quite smiling, I attempt to maintain some kind of positive perspective, otherwise the grind of too many miles fatigues, tires me out.  A happy cabbie translates into an awake cabbie, a ten dollar tip always a good jolt of monetary caffeine, much better than a double espresso.  If you ever stumble into my taxi, you now know how to guarantee that my eyes will remain wide open.  Just say, “San Francisco, please,” and watch what happens.   900 miles and twelve hours later we’ll be crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.  And can I suggest stopping in Chinatown?   I know of a few good places.   We should be ready for some chow mien by then.


This article was written by guest writer Joe Blondo of Tacoma, Washington.  If you like this piece, continue reading Joe’s blog Real Seattle Taxi. TaxiFareFinder would like to give a big thanks to Joe for all his effort and support, we love our taxi drivers!


Taxi Finder App: Version 2 iPhone App Release

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TaxiFareFinder is proud to announce the release of Version 2.0 of our reliable and trusted Taxi Fare Estimator iPhone app – Taxi Finder. Taxi Finder allows users to calculate a taxi fare estimate from two defined points with the click of a button. With user suggestions in mind, this version includes updated and enhanced features to make the overall experience easier and more beneficial for our customers.  This new and improved iPhone app is free for a limited time: take advantage of this offer and download this useful app here.

Taxi Finder utilizes the power of and the knowledge of Yelp! to provide accurate taxi fare estimates and up-to-date taxi company listings in a given city.  With over 600 cities supported worldwide and thousands of points-of-interest, Taxi Finder is able to provide precise estimates around the globe.  Once a fare is calculated, with a detailed description of the final price, the tool provides route and duration details as well as contact information for taxi companies in the area.

This recent release now allows users to enter both the starting and ending locations, greatly increasing the fare estimate possibilities and ability to estimate trips ahead of time.  Additionally, extra details have been added to the final estimate provided including: flat rates, surcharges, airport fees and other potential supplementary charges to ensure maximum final fare accuracy.  This enhanced app is available on devices with iOS 6.0 or higher, including iPhone 4, iPhone 5 and iPad2. Try it out for yourself!

How to Take a Wheelchair-Accessible Taxi

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A non-disabled person is over 25 times more likely to get a taxi within ten minutes than is a person who uses a wheelchair.

If you are handicapped or disabled and find yourself in a wheelchair or with someone who is in a wheelchair, you understand the hassle and difficulty of finding a taxi.  In most large cities in the United States, handicap-accessible taxis are sparse and not found regularly driving through the streets.  For instance, in New York City, less than 2% of the 13,000 cabs are wheelchair accessible.  Therefore, due to the scarcity, these cabs are nearly impossible for the disabled to hail on a whim to be transported quickly and easily.   The higher price and lack of wheelchair-accessible taxis often leaves handicapped individuals feeling helpless, trapped and most of all, unequal.  TaxiFareFinder has compiled a few tips and suggestions to assist those in need of wheelchair-accessible taxis and facilitate the process.

Look up wheelchair accessible taxi fleets in your city of choice.  Because it is rare to find a wheelchair accessible taxi on the street exactly when you need it, researching companies to know ahead of time is crucial.  The majority of cities do have a fleet of wheelchair friendly taxis, so the challenge is just finding and locating the contact information.  We looked up handicap accessible fleets in several major cities and many have websites accessible through the visitor page of the city website, stand-alone websites or can be found in the yellow pages.  Additionally, while researching, it may be worthwhile to look into programs that offer discounts or specials.  Many cities and fleets offer programs that provide discounted fares and other savings. Save the contact information for the taxi fleet on your cell phone or write it down on a pad of paper for easy access.

Call to reserve a taxi for a specific time.  Call to reserve a wheelchair accessible taxi ahead of time because there are generally a limited number in a fleet and one may not be immediately available.  Try to call at least an hour before you need the taxi.  As always, be very clear about your beginning location and end destination, giving specific street names when possible.  Also, ask about arranging a ride home while on the phone, instead of waiting until the ride to your destination.

Double-check straps and securing devices. Always ask the taxi driver or fellow passenger to ensure that the straps or other types of securing devices are properly fastened.  It is important to take the time to check these devices; there have been too many news stories about accidents with handicap accessible taxis.  For more information on securing devices and proper methods, look at this website.

Be prepared for the fare. Expect the final fare to be somewhat higher than a non-handicap accessible taxi.  Most fares are found to be 5% more or higher, generally because they are larger, specialty vehicles. Finally, as with any taxi ride, be sure to tip 10-15% for good service.
Whether you are in a wheelchair short-term or long-term, we hope you find this article helpful.  To join the movement to increase the amount of wheelchair-accessible taxis in New York City and other urban areas, visit the Taxis For All Campaign website.