I've been driving for a year and half. I've learned the ins and outs. So feel free to ask me anything and I will do my best to answer it. :]

EDIT, PROOF (sorry, never did ama before): http://imgur.com/hQ2aJuR

Comments: 382 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

musty_taco116 karma

Do you ever flick crazy lights and ask people crazy question and kick them out because they can't answer correctly.... I would..

betterxhalf52 karma

Against the cabbie code of conduct, you'd be suspended for doing that kinda stuff.

shaneoinsaino21055 karma

What do you think about McDonald's changing the numbers of their food? Ive been in the same situation 3 different times where I try to order mcnuggets and I get some kind of ground beef sandwich.

betterxhalf76 karma

Haha, I don't go to McDonalds enough to notice a difference. I don't recommend you do either!

ImCuse50 karma

What's the most dangerous situation you've been in while working?

betterxhalf91 karma

Almost got used as a getaway driver, at 5 AM. Dude was approaching my car which was occupied with a large kitchen knife hidden behind his back. I saw the knife (got pretty frightened), made a left at a red light and saw about 10 squad cars parked on that block with their lights on. Scariest thing I've experienced.

i_run_far38 karma

Now that NYC cabs accept credit/debt card, which form of payment is better for the driver? Should I pay my fare by credit card and leave a cash tip or also add the tip the card charge. What would be a good tip?

betterxhalf50 karma

To me it doesn't matter because I drive a garage car and I just get all my money at the end of the day. However, I think people who own and operate a weekly medallion prefer cash because they don't get their credit card balance till the end of the week. Just ask the cabbie, we all have our preferences. I prefer credit.

ShawnLeary26 karma

Have you ever been in a cabbie battle? I was an 18 year old student in DC heading to Georgetown on a quiet weeknight around 10pm. All of a sudden my cab, that I am a paying customer in, doesn't like the other cab that just passes by. We are driving through fairly residential areas but down a main street. They decide to do, what I can only describe as "battle dancing" with their Detroit's finest high mileage former police cars. It was pure insanity. He was swearing in some foreign tongue and driving as close as he could on the other guys ass and then getting even more pissed when the guy in front slams on his breaks. They kept swerving faster and pretending they were going to hit each other. They kept speeding up to 50 mph and then slamming hard, almost hitting each other at least three times. I nearly wet myself and barely had enough lung capacity to yell at him as it was hard to take in a deep breath. It eventually ended with a good flip of the bird and the other guy turning left quickly. Why?

betterxhalf21 karma

Hahahaha, sounds epic! I have no idea why though.

catshit6925 karma

Ever drive any celebrities? Accept any crazy forms of payment? (Cash or stash, bjs etc? )

betterxhalf41 karma

I once dropped off an academy award winning director on the upper east side. Didn't even know who he was until the next passenger told me so (who was apparently the directors architect). Sorry, but I forgot his name, the dude looked like he was in his late 70's or 80's.

Amannin1916 karma

Answer his other question too haha

betterxhalf46 karma

Haha, sorry but I can't be answering questions that might get me in trouble.

HarleyEarl21 karma

How hard is it to become a driver, and what is the pay like?

betterxhalf31 karma

It's not very hard if you know the city well, city as in Manhattan. It's a basic 50 question multiple choice test. The pay is about $200 per shift, but it varies a lot, more or less.

LCAshin25 karma

Do a portion of your earnings go to the cab company, or do you pay some sort of daily/weekly/monthly fee for using the car? Who pays for the gas? What if you were to be involved in an accident? Do you have a "favorite" NYC location ie a club, bar, or restaurant that generates more profit than other locations? Who's the weirdest, strangest, or funniest passenger you've experienced?

The end.

betterxhalf8 karma

I pay a daily lease fee every time I do shift. It's about 120$ but can be more depending on the day/shift. I pay for the gas as well. I am responsible for any accidents or damages. I like to work on the lower west side the most. And Williamsburg if I'm outside of Manhattan. I've had lots of passengers that are memorable, read through the AMA, I shared some stories.

EDIT: I forgot to add that you can also lease it weekly and it costs less but you are always responsible for that amount regardless of whether you work or not.

jbiciestuff5 karma

u/betterxhalf please respond

betterxhalf5 karma

I did, for you bro. :)

Bat_turd16 karma

Do you have a phd? I read that a portion of taxi men in NYC have them.

betterxhalf50 karma

No, I'm an undergrad student working on a computer science degree. I do meet a of cabbies who have lots of degrees but drive cab because of circumstantial situations in their life.

madisoncabbie15 karma

How do you feel about Uber's services, including UberX and other ridesharing companies in NYC and beyond? Or is that not of your concern since you are young and a student and you probably are not going to be a career cabbie?

betterxhalf30 karma

I'm actually an uber driver as well. I like uber, it helps me make extra money. I think it's useful and safe as well as forward thinking. Why not utilize technology that makes our lives easier? It doesn't hurt the cabbie, if anything it helps us. I feel like drivers who use uber make more a little more money, especially at down time. Every driver should have uber but being that cabbies are mostly foreign, I feel like a lot of them don't know about it or don't want to learn about it. Uber doesn't really change the game too much, basically instead of calling a car service, you're just tapping one on your smart phone.

PetiteTrumpetButt14 karma

Have people actually had sex in the cab, or have you heard of stories? I've heard several times of people doing it in a cab but never et understood how the driver would let thay fly.

betterxhalf18 karma

Haha, I've heard other cabbies tell lots of stories about that kinda stuff. Yeah it does happen. I've never had that happen in my cab, though people probably have come close. I've definitely heard some moans here and there.

musty_taco13 karma

real question. Whats the craziest shit out of any cab driver story that you've heard?

betterxhalf29 karma

Cabbies dying in accidents. This one guy in my garage got into an accident and refused to go to the hospital to get checked cuz he felt fine. Next day, he collapsed on the train and died (internal bleeding). Crazy stuff!

plosone13 karma

Any weird passenger stories?

betterxhalf73 karma

Not weird, but this dude pissed me off so I'l tell this story. Basically I just started my shift and I see a lot of cabbies passing by this black guy. So I'm like, you know what, I'm not gonna be like a typical cabbie and not pick a black guy (I'm all for equality). So I stopped by to pick him up. The dude wants to go to Brooklyn, so I'm omw. So he starts to tell me that he had to call his uncle who will meet me there to help pay his fare. He wanted to use my phone. I felt a little sketchy but I let hi use it and tells me his uncle will be there when I arrive and will pay me and gives my phone back... I get to the destination and his uncle is nowhere to be seen. He uses my phone and calls his uncle again and again and it's the same story, he'll be here any minute now. So About 45 mins. pass and I'm just annoyed so I tell the dude to leave after he calls his uncle for like the 5th time. So I'm like alirght, you don't gotta pay me just leave. So he's sitting in my back seat holding onto my phone looking at it all thugish with his doo-rag and all, looking like he's thinking about stealing my phone. So I'm like, hey man gimmie my phone, don't even think about it. He's just setting there looking at it... After a minute or two, he hands me my phone says "aight" and leaves. I was pretty new during that time, but I was pretty let down by that. And I kind of understand why a lot of black people are not picked up by cabbies. But I kind of understood the cabbie mentality that night.

11kDream9 karma

What was the most meaningful conversation you had with a customer?

betterxhalf18 karma

I had a conversation about love with this passenger once. We shared similar views, and being that I'm young, he gave me some good advice. For example, to be patient with it.

llosa9 karma

What do you feel about all the tourists in NYC?

betterxhalf20 karma

Well, I love nyc, I believe it's the greatest city in the world. So of course we'll have tourist, it's expected. I love showing tourist some new things or telling them facts they never knew. I like adding to their ny experience. Though a lot of tourist don't know that it's polite to tip cabbies in NYC. I learn some things from them as well, about where they are from and stuff.

llosa9 karma

Thanks. We definitely tipped when I was there :) I did have a really bad experience with a cabbie who seemed to be drunk/high and kept mumbling to himself and driving rather recklessly, and we were too afraid to say anything about it. He also dropped us at a random spot and told us to get out. Are these cabbies common?

betterxhalf14 karma

A lot of drivers are on their bluetooth, so he may have been on the phone (that's illegal). Don't be afraid to say anything. If you feel uncomfortable, chances are the cabbie is not doing a god job.

zagrebelin8 karma

What do you think about NYC bike messengers?

betterxhalf7 karma

Sorry late response but I missed this. I've had a couple of run ins with bikers. They usually know what they're doing though so it rarely interferes with my driving. What's a lot worse along the same lines is the trike tourist rikshaws. Those guys are sooo annoying. They take up a whole lane and cause so much traffic. A lot of them are always on their phones too, so dangerous.

hanni908 karma

how is the pay? also, have you ever gotten into a serious fight with a customer?

betterxhalf12 karma

Nothing super serious, in my time so far, I've only had one passenger who didn't pay me (long story).

jamiezero3 karma

Would love to hear it!

betterxhalf8 karma

I answered this on another question, see if you can find it! it's actually an interesting story.

B4ckB4con8 karma

Why did you decide to become a taxi driver? Were you inspired by R. De Niro?

betterxhalf19 karma

I just wanted to learn the city and earn a little extra cash to support myself. Ironically, I've never even seen that movie. Maybe one of these days. Also, as a college student I make a lot more than my friends who are working retail for much longer hours.

YoungRasputin4 karma

You should watch it sometime. Even if just for the view of 1970s NYC. Great movie.

betterxhalf10 karma

Watched it last night, awesome movie. On my favorites list.

someaustralian8 karma

How long did it take you to learn the ins and outs of the city? You are incredibly young for a cabbie-- speaking as guy that starting cabbing himself at 23.

betterxhalf11 karma

Took me about 5 or 6 months to really get the hang of it. Yes, I do get the "young for a cabbie" comment a lot, but I love driving. I think it's fun, it's a like a video game to me. Google maps helps a lot, not only with navigation but with traffic as well. And WAZE app.

MacCop7 karma

Do you like the way NYC does it where you are required to drive a yellow cab with the same markings as every other cab in the city, or would you prefer to work somewhere like Chicago where can drivers get more freedom to drive for different cab companies and have different cars?

betterxhalf8 karma

NYC also has different companies and freedom of choice. Driving a yellow cab is one of those choices. There a lot of other companies you can drive for with a TLC license. A lot of them are geared towards certain groups of people, races, class, etc.

pavementjive7 karma


betterxhalf12 karma

I do get a lot of super-pretty passengers. I try to keep it professional though. Sometimes girls will flirt but I keep it casual and don't try to escalate it. I just turn it into chit-chat. Never tried to date one of my passengers before, though I've been very tempted to ask a few times, haha.

skyy07316 karma

Ask anything?

I am a spy in West Berlin that is suspected of being a double-agent. One day, while taking my dog to the vet to get its anal glands removed, there is a whisper from the shadows of a code i have heard but long-since forgotten:

"You know, my first sexual experience was on the back of a llama."

Without thinking, I automatically return with the answer:

"What a coincidence, yesterday was Tuesday."

I follow the possessor of the voice into the shadows and as my eyes adjust to the darkness i see a man dressed in a similar fashion to Chairman Mao from the waist-down, and a circus ring-leader from the waist up.

He hands me a small, red, wooden box that i accept in both hands. He says i know what to do.

After returning home, i leave the box on my desk and leave to clip my toenails.

Upon my return, i see that my young daughter has placed one of her collectible My Little Pony stickers - the one where the My Little Pony is riding a kraken - on the box.

Prior to opening the box, i wish to remove the sticker.

Is Acetone suitable in this situation?

Edit: how do I return reddit gold?

exit14310 karma

Not OP, but I've got this. Yes. Acetone will remove the sticker. Be sure to use gloves and a plastic scraper. Also, use caution when cleaning items with acetone as the substance is highly flammable and contains toxic fumes.

betterxhalf3 karma

Thank you.

pipeanddrum6 karma

How much to take me from DUMBO to that night club no one has heard about yet?

betterxhalf9 karma

No idea, but if the club is in the city, more than $10!

thegriffin886 karma

Does it pay well?

betterxhalf10 karma

It pays decent, but I wouldn't recommend it as a career (most cabbies won't).

NLZ135 karma

Are you really yellow?

betterxhalf3 karma


kermankermit5 karma

What's the weirdest thing you've experienced with someone in your cab

betterxhalf10 karma

I haven't really experienced anything too weird. Just the usual drunkies/ druggies. Peculiar people here and there. This one female cabbie who used to take her kittens in the front seat of her cab during her shift. Things like that.

Hotpeanut5 karma

What is your ethnicity?

betterxhalf10 karma

I'm from Bangladesh.

ellendegenital5 karma

What is the weirdest thing someone has left in a cab?

betterxhalf7 karma

Nothing too unusual, mostly just cell phones and perfume.

friedpikmin6 karma

What do you do with cell phones and other expensive electronics? Do they go to some sort of lost and found? Is it pretty common for cabbies to just take them?

betterxhalf7 karma

A lot of cabbies do just take them, yes. The law is to bring it to the nearest police precinct to where it was found.

Iamien3 karma

do you charge people fares to return their phone to them?

betterxhalf16 karma

I've returned a few phones. I wish people were more thankful. A lot of them don't even say thank you. -__- So from now on, I will bring it to the nearest police station like I'm supposed to.

IEnjoyBrowsingReddit4 karma

What's the worst road-rage incident you had?

betterxhalf9 karma

Haha, there is a funny story with this. I seen this one dudette on the highway who was trying to get ahead of the car in front of her, who had a much bigger car. She was tailgating the guy and the guy in front of her had to brake aggressively at one point. The little car front ended the car in front of her. Ironically, the guy with the bigger car didn't feel a thing. He just drove off. However, the little car had a bent hood. So she put on her four way flashers and pulled over on the highway and got out of her car looking like all "wtf". The car she hit had minor damage, but he drove off without even notice. I was behind watching the whole thing and the funny thing is I could see the whole thing coming from a mile away, haha. In a way it was a hit and run, but the car that got hit is the one that run. She is lucky he didn't notice, because she would have had to pay for his damages.

grshirley4 karma

Do you carry anything for self defense?

betterxhalf5 karma

No, but I should now that you mention it. I always felt that the partition is enough protection, unless someone sits in the front...

redrawthings4 karma

What color is your cab?

betterxhalf9 karma


GreatApe425 karma

You're a yellow cab driver whose cab is colored blue?

betterxhalf11 karma


Ronaldinhoac114 karma

  • Where do you usually pick up people? Where are the crowded places usually?
  • What's the best thing about your job and what's the worst?
  • Do you make enough to support yourself?

betterxhalf8 karma

95% of passengers I pick up are within Manhattan, rest are mostly in Brooklyn, sometimes queens and of course airports. I like to roam mid-town and the lower west side a lot.

Best thing is the freedom and flexible schedule, worst thing is sitting in traffic, especially on a hot day.

Yes, I make more than enough to support myself.

nitrogea4 karma

What is your average fare and average tip?

betterxhalf6 karma

An average is hard to give because fares vary so much, but probably around 12 dollars per ride.

Sail-to-the-Moon4 karma

Do you enjoy making small talk with your passengers? Or would you prefer for them to keep quiet so you can just drive?

I've found that some cab drivers like to talk and others will be completely silent.

betterxhalf9 karma

Yes, I usually try to gauge it out. If a passenger seems to be trying to spark a convo, I will go with it. After all, it's a 12 hour shift, some socializing is needed. Plus, that usually helps me get a better tip. I think a lot of cabbies don't like to talk because of the language barrier. I met a lot of cabbies who barely speak English. They can answer basic questions, but not have full casual conversations.

Jungster234 karma

What would be your advice for someone from Florida moving to NYC and getting a job as a cab driver to start off? 22 year old as well. Do you think the money would enough to live off of for a time? Thanks!!

betterxhalf5 karma

Definitely enough money. Just use google maps if you need help with directions, best advice I could give. Also, sleep enough.


Sleep is the best advice out of all of this. During my time driving I found that my alertness would gauge how comfortable I was completing my tasks. If you're half awake, risk sky-rockets and a fine or accident can range from a day's pay to a full paycheck or worse. Sleeping a full 7+ hours is highly recommend, if not required in order to comfortably and confidently perform a driving job.

betterxhalf5 karma

Agreed 100%.

regular_gonzalez4 karma

Aren't NYC taxi medallions crazy expensive? How did you afford one at age 22? Or are they a thing of the past?

betterxhalf10 karma

I just lease one every time I drive, from the garage I work at. Yes they are worth close to a million dollars.

RazzleThemAll4 karma

Hello, fellow NYC-er here. My question to you is: How many feet do you drive with?

betterxhalf6 karma

My right foot, 90% of the time. Both if I'm super tired. (good question.)

LeatherNads4 karma

What's the nastiest thing you've had to deal with? (ie puke, drunks, human remains...)

betterxhalf5 karma

Thankfully nothing too crazy. Just had this one dude hurl out the window once. Had to stop by at the gas station and lean the back door a bit. :]

spitfire91074 karma

most tips u got? how good are ur driving skills? how to become a cab driver in nyc?

betterxhalf16 karma

Ahh, the most tips total for a day: $120. for a single trip: 18.

But percentage wise, I once got a 15 dollar tip on a 6 dollar fare, which is almost 300%. So technically that's the most.

youlistenedtoarock3 karma

How the fuck? The guy was like "oh my fare is $6? Well I only have a twenty one dollar bill keep the change"?

betterxhalf6 karma

Yup, it was a tourist. Just gave me a 20 and hopped out, haha.

betterxhalf8 karma

Also, I think my driving skills are excellent. I get the "good driver" compliment all the time. :]

dounfer4 karma


betterxhalf2 karma

No, all uber hails are just like any street hail. We work off the meter, the one in the cab. So no taxes. Unlike the black cars which use the cell phone as a meter I think?

hsprklgb3 karma

In your opinion, what is the best thing about working at NYC?

betterxhalf15 karma

I love the view when the sun is rising from the Brooklyn bridge. The tall buildings in Manhattan. The the hipsters and Williamsburg. The little traffic in Queens. The food all over the city from all over the world. The interesting people. Those are just some of my favorite things.

jrjuniorjrjr3 karma

How annoying is it when people ask where you're from and all that?

betterxhalf8 karma

Haha, it's not THAT annoying. After all, NY is diverse. It's a good conversation starter.

ajc36913 karma

is a good tip same as in a restaurant like 15% is ok but, 20% is nice?

betterxhalf10 karma

Yes. 25% or 30% is even better. ;]

[deleted]3 karma


betterxhalf6 karma

Yes, I drive part time most of the time. It's a great part time job. The medical exam is a standard physical. There is also a drug test.

jjjaaammm3 karma

What is the reason for an on duty cabbie on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to pull over to pick me up as a fare only to drive off when I tell him I am going to Penn Station. This has happened to me twice and I can't figure out why.

By the way every time this happens I report it to the TLC and the cabbie accepts the large refusal of fare fine.

I don't get it. Is it worth the risk of the fine?

betterxhalf5 karma

That sounds very strange to me... What time is this happening? If it's around the time the cabbie has to end shift, it makes sense. But other than that, it makes no sense.

Emiel0003 karma

Ever had a drunk girl in your cab who didn't have any cash at the end of the ride? Did she offer anything, and if yes/no, how do you handle a situation where a client doesn't have the money with him?

betterxhalf7 karma

Been driving for a year and half, only had one passenger who didn't pay me (I posted the story on another question). Usually if passengers don't have money, they let me know how much they have before I start the ride or will negotiate with me before they get in the cab. I've taken people to LI before who didn't have enough money, because I felt bad they would be drunk and stranded in NYC. Especially if they seem like they're my age.

delcon73 karma

You wrote you do 12 hours shifts. Where do you find your restrooms? You probably need to be able to park..

betterxhalf6 karma

Hotels, fast food chains, etc.

horatiu13 karma

Hey man, I don't know if you're still there but I would have a couple of questions that I have seen nobody asked 1.I am a high school student who is 18, will I be able to get the certification and then rent a car or you need a HS diploma? 2.What is the range that you pay for the cab/night to rent? 3.When I take a cab should I ask the driver from the beginning about how much will the cab fare cost?(Been in NYC for 2 years never taken a cab) 4.Do drivers know best clubs/places to go in the city?

Thanks in advance

betterxhalf3 karma

  1. You don't need a diploma to drive.
  2. 115-140 depending on the shift.
  3. No, it's always based on the meter unless you're going out of the 5 boros.
  4. Yes, most should especially if they're a night driver.

SouthParkRepublican3 karma


betterxhalf7 karma

Usually, drivers are responsible for all the damages to their cars. Some cabbies do seem pretty wild and reckless but usually they know what they are doing. I've been driving for a year and half and witnessed maybe major accident. You can't really blame us for causing a little traffic when we pickup/ drop off passengers because that's how we make our money. Most people are patient and understand cabbie situations.

musicmerchkid3 karma

How much can you make in a shift?

betterxhalf5 karma

About 160 a day.

badgimmick2 karma

I was in NYC back in February. Wonderful city and didn't get to do half the things I wanted but I'll return.

One thing I did notice though was how awful the roads are, specifically the pot holes. How do you cope with that?

Also, for the record, NYC cab drivers are the friendliest people I've ever met especially the one who took us back to the airport. One of the express ways was closed so he had to detour around Queens I think? Gave us a little mini-tour of the area too. Gave him a $20 for just being awesome...I wish all cabbies were like that!

betterxhalf3 karma

I've just become used to all the bad roads. Sucks, a lot of tourist point that out. I wish the mayor would do something about that. Or maybe better technology to build longer lasting roads would help.

I'm proud to call myself a friendly cabbie. :]

daltonmc2 karma

Do you ignore traffic laws like every New Yorker would prefer you to do? If not, why not?

betterxhalf11 karma

I follow all traffic laws to the best of my abilities. If i don't, I can get a ticket with a fine equivalent to what I make in a day. If a passenger says they are in a rush, I do drive more aggressive though, still within the rules.

beastsy432 karma

Do you know which one is the cash cab?

betterxhalf2 karma

Nope, wiki should.

trainx30002 karma

Can any car be an NYC taxi? I know the Crown Vic's are popular, but I'm thinking about hybrids or electrics that could save money on fuel.

clumz4 karma

Wikipedia will tell you all approved models.

betterxhalf3 karma

This. Hybrids are the new trend.

fabiolperezjr1 karma

Where do you live?

betterxhalf2 karma

I live in Flushing, Queens.

lacecorsetdolly1 karma

Can you pick me up on 3rd ave and 47th? Also, why is 3rd ave stupid crazy all the time?

betterxhalf2 karma

3rd ave. is not THAT crazy. Chinatown is crazy. I can pick you up anywhere within the 5 boros.