We’ve never quite understood it when people say things like, “Nothing in life is free.” What are they talking about? Because we’ve been on a pretty great run over the last six weeks when it comes to free booze at open bars… so, yeah, there you go. Also, it turns out, sometimes cabdrivers will throw you a comp.
ROLANDO Where I hailed him: Chelsea Where he hails from: Argentina Years as a cabbie: 13 Previous profession: Factory worker
Sure, I’ll give a free ride sometimes. If somebody’s having a really bad day, but they still manage to be polite and nice, I’ll just turn off the meter and tell them it’s on me. It can’t really be that bad, right? Maybe a free cab ride will cheer them up. Sometimes it does. Then I feel like I’ve really done my duty. You’ve got to be kind to people in this world.
DEEPAK Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: India Years as a cabbie: 6 Previous profession: Businessman
Why would I ever be giving a free ride? You get into this cab, you know you will be charged a fare. Why do you step in if you have no money? I never understand this. If you have no money, no credit card, no ATM card, what are you doing in Manhattan? I do not buy the ‘I have no money’ excuse. I do not give free rides. I work too hard for this.
GUY Where I hailed him: Midtown East Where he hails from: Senegal Years as a cabbie: 12 Previous profession: Teacher
A free ride? Only very, very rarely. Only if I can tell the person is really in trouble, or really, really needs the ride. Once, I gave a pregnant lady and her husband a ride to the hospital. She and her husband left the cab without paying, but I didn’t mind. The husband turned back to pay, but I just waved him on. It was a good feeling.
SHAWKAT Where I hailed him: West Village Where he hails from: Bangladesh Years as a cabbie: 3 Previous profession: Waiter
Sometimes, if a person doesn’t have enough money to pay the fare, I’ll just let them go. The other day this woman told me when she got in the cab that she wanted to use a credit card to pay. Then when she gets where she’s going, though, the machine won’t take her card. So it’s not her fault, right? What can she do? So I just gave her my address and told her that if she wanted to send money, she could send what she wanted there. I haven’t heard from her. I mean, whatever, man.