For all of New York City’s daily annoyances — noise, rats, overpriced necessities, men in those rubbery clog shoes — we should be glad that, thanks to public transportation, we aren’t usually affected by the miserable traffic. Our cab drivers, though, aren’t so fortunate.
Where I hailed him: East Village
Where he hails from: Haiti
Years as a cabbie: 5
Previous profession: Parking attendant
Man, it was yesterday. I was sitting in traffic on the FDR for like two hours. It can be bad there, but that never happens. I think there was an accident or something. And then again on Lexington yesterday, too, for like an hour. You know what it was — it was the UN. That’s never happened to me before.
Where I hailed him: Hell’s Kitchen
Where he hails from: China
Years as a cabbie: 10
Previous profession: Mover
Anywhere in Midtown is always bad, from 57th Street all the way down to 23rd Street. The worst for me, though, was during the blackout. I was out on my shift in the middle of it when it happened. All the lights go out — and it was around rush hour, too. In Midtown. It was terrible. I was just stuck there for like an hour trying to get out — but at least I had a fare.
Where I hailed him: Murray Hill
Where he hails from: Guatemala
Years as a cabbie: 7
Previous profession: Delivery guy
When they had the strike with the subway workers I was out that morning at the airport. It took me like three hours to get back into the city. Just traffic, traffic all the way in. That was the worst that I have ever been in. It took me the whole morning.
Where I hailed him: SoHo
Where he hails from: Bangladesh
Years as a cabbie: 3
Previous profession: Student
Across town in Midtown, through Times Square, is the worst. Once, I had a passenger insist on taking 45th Street all the way from out of the Midtown tunnel to Tenth Avenue. It took me about two hours. It’s just a disaster because the pedestrians walk when the sign says “don’t walk.” This makes it so that cars can’t make a left turn. You get people making about one left turn per light, and the whole street is backed up from one side of Manhattan to the other. It’s awful. I would like to see jaywalking laws enforced more, yes. It would make my life much easier.
Where I hailed him: East Village
Where he hails from: United States
Years as a cabbie: 20
Previous profession: Teacher
Ok, the worst jam ever was a trip from Soho to just over the Brooklyn Bridge on a Saturday. Sounds like a piece of cake, right? Wrong. We’re getting ready to cross the bridge and… bam! The thing snarls up. We sit there for an hour and a half. I finally get across and decide to take the Manhattan Bridge back. Bam! Another hour and half gone: It RUINED my whole day. I mean my day was blown. Naturally I took it out on all the passengers after that. I actually shot a couple of ‘em. Didn’t kill ‘em. Just wounded ‘em, you know? I was really frustrated. Say, do you need a conservative cab driver voice? I’m your man. The president, he’s a decent man trying to save this country. Why do you want to go crucify him? Why? Why! Rush Limbaugh — people say he’s entertaining. Wrong! People gravitate to him because of the issues. They resonate. Air America? Why is it going down the toilet? It’s not the people. It’s the point of view!