We all know little tricks for snagging a cab — seek out the major traffic arteries, drift upstream against the flow of traffic, when in doubt sprint after the brake lights of one that’s occupied, etc. But what if the taxi is trying to find us? Believe it or not, cabbies work as hard finding fares as we do finding rides.
Eduardo Where I hailed him: Chelsea Where he hails from: Uruguay Years as a cabbie: 3 Previous profession: Car service
Downtown after the happy hour can be a good place for me, especially on Thursdays and Fridays. If I can get downtown between eight and ten, sometimes I can get very good tips for taking people back uptown. Once, a man who seemed like he had had a good day gave me a $50 tip for driving him from TriBeCa to the Upper East Side.
Abdul Where I hailed him: Midtown West Where he hails from: Pakistan Years as a cabbie: 2 Previous profession: Student
I like to make the trip from La Guardia in the afternoons when the traffic is lighter — like between 10 and 3. Once I did it three times in a row. That was a nice day for me. It is by far the closest airport to Manhattan and most of the time you can get through the line there pretty quickly.
Olowe Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: Nigeria Years as a cabbie: 10 Previous profession: Subcontractor
I like the nicer hotels in Midtown later in the evening: The W, the Waldorf. You have guaranteed riders, and often they are not even tourists. Usually they’re not going out of Manhattan — I’d say like 90 percent of the time. Usually they’re just going down for dinner in the Village, or to a nightclub — things like that. The hotel cabstands are much better in the evening, because at check-out time, I don’t want to be taking anybody to Newark Airport. I hate that.
Amit Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: India Years as a cabbie: 7 Previous profession: Waiter
If you come down around Houston on a weekend night, you will always get a fare. All the people in the clubs and the bars are there. You go down there anytime after midnight, there are people almost fighting for them. A lot of them want to go out to Brooklyn or the outer boroughs then, but that is not so bad, because it is late and the traffic coming back in isn’t bad. It’s during the day when you have to come back into the city empty, waiting to go over the bridges, that it is bad. At night it is not really a problem. You can get in and out quick.