What's a Girl Doing Here?
September 28, 2012 9:06 AM   Subscribe

What's a Girl Doing Here? Short documentary about two female taxi drivers in NYC.
posted by femmegrrr (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
New Yorkenized. Inventing that word may well prove her point.

I'm pretty sure I had a female cab driver once, it was during the day. Daytime cab drivers are like a whole different thing. There are some yellow cabs without a partition during the day.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:33 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

The original (for me): New York Hack
Was kinda hoping she was going to show up.
posted by TangerineGurl at 9:45 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

When I got to work today, I was assigned a brand-new 2007 model taxi. It only had about 6400 miles on it, which probably makes it about six weeks old. It was clean and pristine and it still smelled new, and as I was pulling out of the lot, one of my fellow drivers joked and said, "Don't scratch it!"

Oh man, I got into a new cab once. It was the first time out. The driver was incredibly proud. He showed me the odometer, it had maybe 200 miles on it. It was a hybrid and he clearly wasn't used to it or something so he would gun it and lurch into traffic even more aggressively than cab drivers usually are. It had like a little Animated diagram that showed power distribution. Say what you want about checkers with the fold up seat in the back but these new cars are amazing.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:54 AM on September 28, 2012

Weird. I live in tiny little Amarillo TX and IIRC around 40% of the cab drivers I've had were women; not that there are very many cab drivers around here or I've taken taxis frequently. I wasn't aware that in NYC it was pretty much exclusively male.
posted by sotonohito at 12:03 PM on September 28, 2012

Waitaminute... are you telling me there isn't an Elaine Nardo at every New York taxi company? Next you'll tell me they don't hire weird European immigrant mechanics...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:24 PM on September 28, 2012

Seems 40% of the cabbies in Portland are cabbettes as well. One in particular was especially cool:

Me joking: "A lady, driving a taxi!"
Cabbie: "A gentleman, observing!"

Learned more about the in and outs of Portland in 20 minutes than I have it 20 years.
posted by Cosine at 12:47 PM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

Driving a cab always seemed like something I would like - driving around, listening to music and seeing different parts of the city.

I heard it doesn't pay too well though, like less than $10 an hour and there's the whole getting robbed and possibly shot thing - and I imagine being female would increase your chances of being victimized. And where I live is quite a bit more dangerous than NYC.
posted by Jess the Mess at 12:57 PM on September 28, 2012

My father drove taxi in St. Louis for a while, he was robbed a couple of times and told a story about being sure that a junkie was going to kill him just for grins.

But, then he was robbed at gunpoint while running a pizza restaurant in Amarillo TX too, and worried for his life there.

He lead a more dangerous life than I have, that's for sure. I'm 37 and haven't had anyone threaten to kill me yet. He managed it three times before he was my age, an accomplishment I can't say I envy.
posted by sotonohito at 2:04 PM on September 28, 2012

Thanks for sharing this link.

My dad is a cab driver and has been driving for approximately 20 years. He moved to Canada 30 years ago and used to own a store but decided that it was too stressful, so he ended up becoming a driver and then became a cab owner as well. He owns a couple of plates and has a couple of drivers that take over after a certain time of the day.

It's obviously not the type of job that will allow you to earn a shit load of money, but it's most certainly enough to feed a family of six, pay for post-secondary education, afford the needs and wants in life, and live in a relatively safe area of the city. When he was younger he used to work full 12 hour days from 6AM-6PM; however, he now works from 9AM-330PM and the driver takes over at 4PM.

I live in a different city, but I rarely see cab drivers where I live. I've probably had less than 10 cab drivers drive me somewhere over the course of four going on five years.

As for safety, I find it really depends on what city you live in, but where I live and where my dad works there aren't partitions. Although, I'm assuming there are cab partitions in cities that are bigger than ours like Toronto, Vancouver, or Montreal.

Oh, and yes sometimes you see drug addicts, people that try to cheat the system as the woman described (in other words, people that try to get a ride for free), and people that offer random items instead of cash.
posted by livinglearning at 4:46 PM on September 28, 2012

I hadn't really thought of it, but I wonder why women don't want to drive cabs.

At least in NYC there is no barrier of entry preventing them. The risks are no greater for a woman, and statistically they are lower.

The rewards may be higher also, as the novelty of a female cab driver could earn you greater tips.
posted by rcdc at 6:11 PM on September 28, 2012

The risks are no greater for a woman

I'd say they're way more likely to get raped than the male drivers. Also the lower level harassment from customers has got to be 100x worse than for the men. Most of the women cab drivers I've ridden with have been fairly paranoid about their safety, to the point where it's pretty annoying to me as a customer.
posted by ryanrs at 7:21 PM on September 28, 2012

ryanrs even when you include sexual assault women are much less likely to be the victims of violent assault.
posted by rcdc at 3:58 AM on September 29, 2012

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