Proud namesake of the House of Hanover, the Ford Crown Victoria is an omnipresent icon in the city streets. But is its hegemony over our automotive fleets a beneficial one, or does its ubiquity crowd out other deserving contenders? You know, isn’t there something else the cabbies might like to drive once in a while?
DUMAS Where I hailed him: Gramercy Where he hails from: Bayside, Queens Years as a cabbie: 23 Previous profession: Computer operator
This is the best car for this job. If you had another car, it wouldn’t have the trunk space, it wouldn’t have the legroom. Maybe a Lincoln Town Car, you know. I have another car. I drive a Chevy Malibu, that’s my other car. That’s got more horsepower.
SIMAR Where I hailed him: Tribeca Where he hails from: Bangladesh Years as a cabbie: 10 Previous profession: Busboy
What do I like to drive? Mercedes is my favorite car. The SLK 55 AMG. It looks like a very slick car, you know. It’s very good. High-performance, like a sports car.
KEITH Where I hailed him: Chelsea Where he hails from: Brooklyn Years as a cabbie: 25 Previous profession: Highschool student
I would stick with the Crown Vic. Because there’s so many places to get it fixed at the drop of a dime. You get a Mercedes or something, you gotta go to the dealer, spend hours and hours waiting, or you could go take the Crown Vic anywhere and get the brakes fixed for ten dollars. I wouldn’t want nothing else except for something real convenient to get back on the road as fast as possible. This is the car, right here. It’s not the best car — it’s not good on gas. My wife is scared ‘cause she thinks the back is gonna blow up with the gas tank, you know. It happened out there, up in Connecticut a couple of times with the troopers. But I don’t know no cabbies it blew up on.
TAJ Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: Pakistan Years as a cabbie: 8 Previous profession: Gas station attendant
That’s a good question. That’s not gonna make a big difference, the only difference is getting good mileage. Otherwise, any car. To me, it’s a car, you know. I will drive any car, but if it has good mileage, that’s good. Right now, I’m averaging forty dollars (to fill up the tank). I heard about a hybrid, you can work a whole shift on fifteen or twenty bucks, so I might like that one. But besides a taxi, I don’t drive anything. I hate to drive. I’m allergic to driving.
OSWALDO Where I hailed him: LES Where he hails from: Ecuador Years as a cabbie: 5 months Previous profession: Parking attendant
I would like to drive an Escape, a Ford Escape hybrid, because it’s less expensive for the gas. I’m driving right now an eight-cylinder; the hybrid is six-cylinder. I don’t like this eight-cylinder, because I spend too much money on gas. Obviously, the luxury — if the passenger wants me to drive an SUV, I will drive an SUV. But I’m just speaking about saving money, you know. I love money, I want to have money in my hand. That is the main reason I would like to have one. And it is good for the environment.