Despite the unstoppable forces of outer-borough gentrification, cabbies still seem to complain about you know where. That’s right, Brooklynites still have to contend with the thinly veiled ire of cabdrivers miffed at having to cross a bridge — except for the nice man at the bottom of the page… Rahma, we salute you!
Amit Where I hailed him: East Village Where he hails from: India Years as a cabbie: 6 Previous profession: Store clerk
It’s definitely going far into Brooklyn — not like Brooklyn Heights or Cobble Hill, but deep Brooklyn — Flatbush or East New York. It’s very, very hard to get a fare from there, and I tell you there’s really nowhere you can go once you’ve gone all the way out there. You can either come back into the city or you can go over to JFK where you might have to wait two hours. So, basically, to make $25-30 we have to spend three hours. And in the city we can be making $35-40 an hour easily. There are no freeways going out there. So you have to go all the way on local roads with all the traffic. With the freeways we can go in and out fast — like Queens and the Bronx. Those boroughs are fine — there are so many freeways there. I went to deep Brooklyn yesterday and it turned my whole shift around.
Rahma Where I hailed him: West Village Where he hails from: Bangladesh Years as a cabbie: 6 Previous profession: Gift shop worker
Brooklyn: It’s just not profitable… especially if you go farther out than downtown or over to Williamsburg. Rush hour is a special killer: It takes you 40 minutes just to get onto the bridge. Most people want to go either downtown or to Red Hook. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of fares to Williamsburg, which can be ok. Sometimes you pick up a fare on Bedford or Driggs coming back to the city, and then you’re doing better than you would in Manhattan.
Ajay Where I hailed him: Midtown East Where he hails from: India Years as a cabbie: 5 Previous profession: Clerk
Brooklyn. You don’t want to go now, right? Any driver that tells you he likes going to Brooklyn is lying through his teeth. You just can’t make money going to Brooklyn. If there was flat fee — like to JFK Airport — then maybe I could tell you I like going to Brooklyn. Until then… no thank you. You don’t need to go there, right? Just the East Village?
Amnat Where I hailed him: Union Square Where he hails from: Pakistan Years as a cabbie: 18 Previous profession: Farmer
The area down way out in Brooklyn is the worst. Around East New York, because it is way out there and there is no highway close. That is definitely my least favorite.
Berk Where I hailed him: Lower East Side Where he hails from: Turkey Years as a cabbie: 7 Previous profession: Teacher
Brooklyn is bad. The outer boroughs are all bad — because you usually will come back without a fare. You want to stay in the city. The worst though is when someone wants you to take them to Jersey. We don’t have to. But sometimes they will get in. They are drunk, they make trouble for us, so either we fight with them or we take them over there.
Kwasi Where I hailed him: Williamsburg Where he hails from: Ghana Years as a cabbie: 4 Previous profession: Clothing factory
Newark Airport. It’s the worst! You can’t take anyone back with you after you get there, so it’s much worse than JFK or LaGuardia. Plus it takes forever to get there. There’s always a problem with the tunnels. If people want to drive to Newark they should take a limousine or livery. There are plenty of those guys driving.