Tag Archives: taxi regulars

The Regulars

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Not all rides are created equal. Some involve a series of obstacles, with one hassle after another and the expectation of a discount at the end. Others are just a pick-up and a drop-off for twice the meter.

Same with regulars. There are familiar cross streets you hear over the radio and flat out ignore. You could be a bingo, but not in the mood to deal with a hell ride, and no amount of cajoling from Artur, not even the promise of a bonus load, will persuade you to take the order.

Then, there are cross streets you know are pay dirt. Like this lady in Nob Hill who used to call every Thursday for a ride to Daly City. She paid $10 on top of the meter, which ended up being a $40 ride.

Drivers would fight over that fare. I was once three blocks away when the call came in and had the order on my tablet, but another driver beat me to the location by racing up Sacramento from the Financial in the taxi lane.

Sometimes, the promise of a paid ride out of an undesirable neighborhood will make a ride more appealing. Like when you hear Bryan’s cross streets in Russian Hill over the radio after dropping in the Marina. As a rep for a beer company, he’s usually heading to the Mission or another part of town with a high concentration of bars. I’ve tried on several occasions to snake that fare from other drivers.

Read the rest here.

[photo by Christian Lewis]

The Disgruntled Mr. Judy

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“There’s no hope, I’m telling ya. All that’s left is total destruction.”

Mr. Judy has been ranting since I picked him up at a dive bar in the Mission, where he peddles his wares, and tried to drop him off at another. But as I idle in front, he just sits there, eyeballing the crowd of smokers on the sidewalk.

Randomly, he singles out a girl in ballerina flats and three chuckleheads with matching spectacles and beards fawning over her. “I hate those shoes. They’re awful. Her pants are too tight. And look at that hair … Well, at least she’s the queen of the sausage party tonight.”

“Dude, I think you’re way too judge-y to go in there right now.” I offer to drive him somewhere else, but he just wants to hang out in my cab for a while. Since I’m not feeling very servile myself, I don’t mind driving around aimlessly. At least the meter’s running.

Sensing Mr. Judy’s high level of agitation, I put on some Grateful Dead. In between tirades, he sings along to Jerry, then critiques the bars we pass on our way downtown, describing the owners, the bouncers, the bartenders, the type of clientele and what kind of music they play. His knowledge of watering holes in the Mission is impressive, though it makes sense for a bar-to-bar salesman to know his territory.

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[photo via]