Oh La La! Taxi Drivers Strip Down for a Good Cause

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ali_march-0Looking for a unique gift to give your NYC dwelling friend this holiday season? If you want to send a laugh, look no further than The 2017 NYC Taxi Drivers Calendar. Yep, that’s right, firemen move over, the taxi cab drivers are baring all and ready for their close up.

In all seriousness, this calendar was made for a good cause! A portion of all proceeds will be donated to University Settlement, a settlement house that serves over 30,000 immigrants, working individuals, and families every year with services like education, housing, wellness opportunities, and literacy programs.

The calendar is available now for purchase for $14.99.

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10 Insanely Fascinating Rides!

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1. A 1942 Harley-Davidson Flathead U74 and a rare 1956 Side-car.


2. Stuck between eras…






3. Crazy driver or street art?


4. Dior Taxi


5. Robo-Cab


6.  The funeral of taxi driver Victor Perez Cardona. With him in attendance.





7. The rear end of a Ferrari FXXK.


8. Chi-Chi-Chia Car!


9.  You ain’t never had a friend like me


10.  No Explanation Needed…

Our Favorite Halloween Taxis

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With only 2 days left until Halloween we thought we would share our favorite Halloween inspired taxi cabs! Whether these decked out cabs are cute, funny, or terrifying, they are all sure to get you in the Halloween Spirit!

TaxiFareFinder’s Best Kept Secret…Until Now!

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TaxiFareFinder is known for providing the public with estimated taxi and rideshare fares for almost anywhere in the world from Canberra, Australia to Cork, Ireland but did you know that TaxiFareFinder also has a few “easter egg” calculators that are hidden on our site? For instance, our site’s creators once decided to have some fun and create a “Retro Chicago” Calculator that will calculate the cost of your taxi ride as if you were traveling in Chi-Town in 1946.

For fun we decided to test out the Retro Chicago Calculator to see how much things have changed over the past 70 years. We calculated the cost from the Four Seasons Hotel in Downtown Chicago to O’Hare Airport and it turns out that a lot has changed! In 1946 this ride only cost $1.27, today this would cost you about $53! Talk about serious inflation!

There are two other known easter eggs on TaxiFareFinder, the NYC Horse Drawn Carriage Calculator and the Boston 1865 Horse-Car. Try them out and have fun seeing what your fare would be if you were taking one of these methods of transportation!

Keep your eyes out for more hidden gems on our site as you never know when our developers are going to decide to plant an easter egg for our fans to find and enjoy!

10 “Rules” for Hailing a Taxi!

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1. Make it clear you’re looking for a ride, and not just saying hi! 

 

2. Have a clear final destination in mind, drivers don’t want you to “wing it”

 

3. Make sure it’s actually a taxi, and not just a random yellow vehicle! 

 

4. Be aggressive to make sure the taxi driver can see you!

 

5. Check to see if your whole squad will fit in the car or else you’ll be separated!

 

6.  Don’t bring any smelly food in your cab or else your driver might try to steal it! 

 

7.  Hail the taxi yourself, and leave your kitten at home! 

 

8. Make sure the license plate meets your standards!

 

9. Check the trunk of the taxi for miscellaneous body parts! 

10. And most importantly, don’t forget your wallet! 

 

Felicia is an intern at Unleashed, LLC. She is from upstate NY, and is currently pursuing a Marketing degree at Bentley University. One day she hopes to travel the world and visit every continent. 

 

Ridiculous Taxi Stories

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Whether your cab driver drove through Manhattan like a speed demon or tried to humor you with knock knock jokes, we have all had at least one interesting taxi story for the books. Our team at TaxiFareFinder loves to hear funny, shocking, and just downright outrageous taxi stories! One of our favorite TaxiFareFinder pages is this one here where you can submit your own taxi stories and of course read about other crazy rides. Here are some of our favorites!

 

Cabbies know it best (Submitted by Kate)

Mine isn’t a complaint at all. I was pregnant and in labor. On the way to the hospital the cabbie kept telling me to breathe. He pretty much carried me into the hospital and offered to stay with me. The next day there were a dozen roses sent to my room. I never knew his name-he signed the card “Cabbie and family”

 

Estimated Fare: Turkey Sandwich (Submitted by Ari)

I was a 15 year old science nerd stranded in San Francisco with no street smarts, applying to an accelerated program at Stanford. I was all alone without money and I’d missed my bus to the airport, and was going to miss my flight home. I’d gotten a business card from this Arab cabbie who’d driven me from the airport a couple days before, and when I called him and explained my situation he remembered me, burned rubber out to the university, and blew through several red lights to get me to my plane. Stupid me, I hadn\’t even known to give him a tip the first time he’d driven me, but the second time I didn’t even have enough money for the whole fare. All I could do was offer to give him my lunch which was a turkey sandwich from Safeway, and he accepted. That guy really helped me. I still remember his name, thank you Haji.

 

Yes, you can (Submitted by Ange)

Can I tell a positive story? I took a cab to the commuter rail, and once I got on the train, I realized I had left my BlackBerry in the cab! After calling my phone a couple times, the driver heard it and answered, asking me where he could drop it off. Instead of stealing or ignoring it, he ended up returning it to the dorm for me! I wish I knew who he was and the cab company- a truly awesome cab driver right there.

 

What a coincidence?! (Submitted By: young and dumb)

I went to chicago with some friends for our senior spring break in high school, took the train from St. Louis to ChiTown. When we got there, we caught a cab to take us to our hotel. He took us to the wrong one, which we didn’t realize until we were inside. Came outside to catch another cab got the same driver again…oh to be 17 again.

The Cleverest of All Taxi Cons

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We have to admit this is a pretty clever con! Read how these passengers conned their taxi driver out of paying a €140 fare using only a mannequin. #manne-con

Our Top 15 Favorite Animal Taxi Pictures

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Do you love animals? Do you love taxis? Every Monday our Facebook page posts a new animal taxi picture that is sure to brighten away those Monday blues. Check out our top favorite #AnimalTaxi pictures from the past year.

Back Seat Confessional by Dmitry Samarov

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Something about sitting in a taxi inspires people to unburden themselves. The stories often begin before their butts even hit the back seat. Like the confessional curtain, a cab door invites a certain sort of privacy and discretion. It’s a space apart from the everyday, a place to reflect and think aloud without the usual consequences and recriminations. In my 12 years behind the wheel I heard secrets, admissions of guilt, as well as every kind of soul-searching imaginable. I had no training in counseling— whether spiritual or therapeutic—yet over and over passengers felt free to unburden themselves. The best I could usually do was just to listen.

What do you tell a woman at 3am who tells you she can’t decide whether to stay with her boyfriend? The boyfriend who refuses to acknowledge her religion or even respect it. The one her family hates and her priest counsels her to leave. The one she loves anyway.

How about the drunk man who tells you at the end of the ride that he has no money to pay and that he’s going to go upstairs to his apartment and kill his wife, who he believes is cheating on him?

The soldier, about to be redeployed, talking on his cellphone about witnessing unprovoked killings in Iraq.

Not all the things people shared were extreme, upsetting or unsettling but most of them made me have to reckon with strangers’ lives in a way I was often unprepared for. The question I was most often left with after they’d paid and left the cab was: why did they feel so free to share?

Anonymity had to be a large part of it. Stumbling into a cab after a frustrating night out at the bars, most of them figured that they’d never see me again and thus were free to unload whatever was bothering them. The fact that there was usually a partition between us and they were looking at the back of my head, rather than facing me, probably helped as well. They couldn’t tell their friends and family what they told me because they’d likely have to explain themselves, justify their actions, apologize, or otherwise backtrack. I never made any such demands, nor any demands at all except for paying the amount on the meter at the end of the ride. Surely the sum was much less than a shrink or spiritual adviser would’ve charged them on average.

The fact that I kept quiet and let them talk likely encouraged them to keep going. I was never one of those chatty cabbies. I didn’t offer unsolicited opinions or hold forth on the events of the day. In fact, most rides in my taxi passed in silence aside from my asking where they wanted to go and thanking them on their way out. I always figured that they were entitled to whatever sort of ride they wanted. After all, they were paying for it.

I tried my best not to intercede but every once in awhile I couldn’t help myself. After listening to a sobbing woman describe in detail all the ways that her ex-boyfriend treated her like dirt, there was no way I couldn’t tell her that it wasn’t a good idea to go to his place at 5am, just because he had drunk-dialed to say he missed her. Come to think of it, I didn’t even drive her anywhere. She got in and launched into her story and we just sat there, double-parked outside her apartment building. After I talked her out of the ride, she gave me $5, got back out and went home. As I’ve mentioned before: I had no qualification to offer counsel and no way to follow up to see if anything I suggested made any difference. There was no section in cabdriver class to cover these situations.

Nevertheless—despite not signing up for it any way, shape or form—throughout my 12 years driving a taxi in Boston and Chicago, people would plop down in the back seat tell me all their troubles. I couldn’t have been the only one this happened to. It has to be something inherent in the odd public/private space of a taxi that inspires this intimacy, this longing to talk of private problems. And what do you do with these secrets, these stories that passengers have left you with?

In my case, these stories turned me into a writer.

 

This piece was written by guest writer Dmitry Samarov. Dmitry is an extremely talented writer and artist, if you would like to learn more about Dmitry and his experiences check out TaxiFareFinder’s interview with him conducted in May of 2013.  To read more from Dmitry, visit his website: http://www.dmitrysamarov.com/.

The Night Before Christmas by Bob Gersztyn

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One of my favorite nights to drive a cab was Christmas Eve, because for the most part it was a happy night with generous passengers. Unfortunately some people needed to do some last minute shopping and were either heading to or coming from the downtown business district or the mall. Even if you didn’t get trapped in a parking lot and weren’t going directly there you had to drive down one of the grid locked streets at some point, but that usually ended by 6:00 or 7:00 PM, when the retail stores started closing to let their employees enjoy Christmas. Then the destinations changed as people started to head to parties at friends and relatives houses in residential areas. At the same time all the hard core bar fly’s, were heading to the same bar that they frequent 364 days a year. I say 364 since some of my hard core bar fare’s didn’t like to go to the bar on New Year’s Eve, because they said that there were too many amateur drinkers out that night.

 

Christmas Eve is also a spiritual time and some people go on a spiritual quest that night. Whether they head to a Protestant church for communion and Carols, the Catholic church for Midnight Mass or the local bar to talk to the bar tender about God, life, death and everything in between, it’s all for the same purpose. Sometimes the cab driver unwittingly becomes a character playing a part in an ancient myth as his part in the spiritual equation.

The thing about spiritual matters is that they know no boundaries, like the ones that theology and logic places upon them. Life is a fine edged walk that balances the sacred and the profane in each person’s sphere of existence so that they are able to function in society as well adjusted human beings. Sometimes that balance gets out of kilter and help is needed to get it back on track. In some of the classic myths, the main character goes on a quest for either a sacred object or a female soul mate that fulfills his destiny. Then during that quest he gets in trouble and nearly fails, but is helped by some formerly unknown ally in the form of an animal or human being, who becomes his friend.

Sometimes the friend is a cab driver, as was the case at around 1100 PM on this Christmas Eve, after I had been driving since 4:00 PM when I began my shift. The call was at an apartment complex in a middle class neighborhood. When I arrived and found the apartment I knocked on the door and when it opened a man dressed in black slacks and a patterned green, red and blue sweater shirt called me Bob by name. He must have asked the dispatcher my name for some reason, I thought. He looked to be in his early 40’s and was about 5 and half feet tall and a little on the pudgy side, but not fat. He wore wire rimmed glasses and had blondish hair that was starting to look shaggy and then he told me his name.

“My name is Marvin, Bob,” he said and then he handed me 2 – 50.00 bills and said, “I need a friend Bob, will you be my friend? I just want to talk and I don’t care where you drive. I know that you have to drive people to make money and I want you to drive me until you use the $100.00 up and then you can bring me back here. I’ll give you a $20.00 tip if you’ll do it.”

I thought to myself, I could go park somewhere and just let the meter run for a couple of hours at $40.00 an hour or I could drive around town and stay off the highway for $2.70 a mile. So I extended my hand in friendship and shook Marvin’s, as he got his jacket and locked his door. When we walked down the hallway to the exit, I noticed that he walked with a severe limp and seemed to move with difficulty. After we got in the cab and I started the meter I headed downtown and on the way there Marvin began to talk.

“I was married for 10 years,” he said, “and was madly in love with my wife and I thought that she was in love with me. I had a successful accounting business and had half a dozen clients that earned me 6 digits a year. I lived in a nice neighborhood and had a beautiful house and lots of friends. Then about 3 years ago I started to get sick and was beginning to have a difficult time keeping my business caught up, so I hired someone to help me out. He had recently graduated from Willamette University with a degree in accounting. He began to do more and more of my work and my wife was my secretary. To make a long story short, I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and was losing control of my motor functions when I found out that my wife was having an affair with my new assistant. I didn’t want to but we got a divorce and she got the house and  half the business with my former assistant and her lover running her half. All our friends sided with my former wife and I found myself completely alone, then one of my best clients left and my business began to take a nose dive, so now I work for the state and live in the apartment that you picked me up at.”

I was getting overwhelmed just listening to Marvin’s story and began to wonder whether it was worth the fare to be Marvin’s psychoanalyst, but then I once had a calling and was a church pastor. Once you get a calling, it doesn’t go away, it just evolves. I concluded that about 25 years ago when whatever unnamable power that everything is connected to, also known as God or the Wholly Other, made it plain that I wouldn’t be in the full time paid ministry anymore, but instead I was to meet people one on one right where they were living. The best way to do that I found is by having an ordinary every day job, so you can relate to the people that make up your parish. My parish then became my everyday life. Then, while living and working together, you can talk to people and live what you talk in the same circumstances as them. By your example and sometimes your words you influence them or move them in the right direction, even if you don’t know what the right direction for them is.

As usual my instructions could be found in the Bible, in Luke 12:12, which states, “For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” So I turned my attention back to Marvin as we hit downtown which was desolate with almost all the bars closed and every one either at home or in church.

“Sometimes I get so lonely that I have to pay a girl to come over and help me feel better,” Marvin said and then asked, “is this wrong?” Before I even considered how to respond he continued, “she was so pretty and her name was Delilah, she didn’t care that I had muscular dystrophy and it only cost $100.00 for ½ hour.”

For some reason the first thing that popped into my mind to respond with was a joke that another passenger told me one night as I drove him and his drunk friends. So I asked him if he wanted to hear a joke, to which he said “yes.”

“A leper goes to a prostitute and after they have sex and he pays her, she thanks him for the tip,” I said.

He burst out laughing, saying, “I get it! I get it! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, I get it! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…..”

After that the rest of the time that we drove around we talked about religion, morality and how to get through life without going crazy. After he found out that I had been a pastor back in the 1970’s, he asked me if I was a good shepherd. I told him that I tried to be, even when there were some black sheep in the flock. He asked me if I’d pray for him and I said that I would. We talked about every aspect of life that Marvin wanted to discuss until he exhausted himself. The meter was rolling over $99.00 as we turned off the main road onto the private drive that led to his apartment complex. I walked with him back to his apartment and before he went in he hugged me and handed me a $20.00 bill as he wished me Merry Christmas and walked into his apartment..

“Merry Christmas,” I answered him, as I turned to walk back to my cab.

It was 1:45 AM and when I cleared my fare and I immediately got another one when the rain turned into snow as the temperature began to drop. It was a personal request for my number at Player’s Lounge. I guessed that it would be the same guy that I drove earlier around 10:00 PM. He was an interesting character who claimed that he was visiting a friend that he met in college. He said that he was from Houston, Texas and his father was a Multimillionaire that he worked for. I picked him up at the Red Lion earlier and then we picked up his friend who was a woman. It seemed to me that he was trying to get into her pants when I dropped them off 5 hours earlier. I expected them both to be falling down drunk, but they seemed only slightly drunk. They wanted to go to Noble’s Tavern, which I told them would be closed by now, but he said that they didn’t care because his car was parked there.

 

On the drive there he was trying to convince his female friend to let him come over to her house or go with him to the Red Lion. She said that she had to wrap presents and he said that he’d help her. This went on until we got to Nobles and then they decided to drive his car to her house where he would help her wrap presents. The fare came to $9.40 and I tried to convince him to have me drive them there, rather than chancing a DUI, but he said that he wanted to drive and pulled out his wallet to pay me. I turned on the dome light, because it was dark where we were parked in an unlit area where I couldn’t see clearly, but he immediately told me to turn off the light. I started to argue that I needed light, but decided that it wasn’t worth the hassle, plus it was Christmas day now and Christmas is all about giving, so if I get screwed, it could be a Christmas present. He handed me a $10.00 bill and said to keep the change as he and his female friend opened the back door and left, as they left their tracks in the accumulating snow.

 

I had a couple more calls driving people home from parties and even taking a nurse to the hospital for her early morning shift before it was time to gas up at 3:45 AM. When I went inside the AM/PM Arco station I pulled out my small wad from my right pocket that I always kept under $50.00, in case I got robbed. My gas came to $35.00 and when I was picking through my $10.00 & $5.00 bills, I found a $100.00 bill. I knew that I had not taken any $100.00 bills the entire night, but immediately remembered the Texas multimillionaire’s son that wouldn’t let me turn the dome light on. I drove back to the office in the accumulating snow where I would do my paperwork, drop my envelope for the night and head home to bed before the snow got too deep and Santa arrived at my house.

 

Bob Gersztyn is a veteran taxi driver from Salem, Oregon. He drove for 9 years and has been a freelance journalist for 20. He has published 4 books on gospel music and has 2 blogs. www.thetranscendenttaxicab.blogspot.com and www.Jesusrockstheworld.wordpress.com He is also a wonderful photographer, all of the pictures used in this post are his own!