Some of these facts might still catch you off guard, no matter how many rides you’ve taken in a taxi,
While they remain a mainstay for most major cities, the taxi business is not what it once was. The rise of ride-share services like Uber has cut into their profits, with people preferring that service over a classic cab. Also, the current pandemic has meant fewer people travelling around with cab services seeing a stunning 81% drop. Yet, they continue to be one of the most convenient ways for people to get around a city fast, and many drivers are still trying to make do.
Cab drivers have to put up with many hassles from troublesome customers to city traffic to various dangers other occupations don’t have. They also have to maintain a good automobile being used nearly non-stop while there are various tricks some customers aren’t aware of. Here are ten unique facts about cabs and the industry that many will not be aware of to highlight there is more to the business than meets the eye.
They Don’t Actually Step On It
Cab drivers have to suffer with a lot of misconceptions thanks to movies and TV shows. One of the biggest is a customer offering a major tip to get them someplace in a hurry. But a driver is smart enough to turn down the offered payday because they still have to obey the same traffic laws as anyone else.
In fact, the fine for a cab driver speeding or driving reckless can be worse due to their passengers. That can cost them their job or license, so drivers are not inclined to “step on it” no matter how much their customer may want them to.
Cabs Are a Germ Hotbed
The cab industry has taken a hit during the pandemic, with less people in cities needing rides. Not helping is that a cab can be one of the biggest hotbeds for germs imaginable, even in the best of times. It only makes sense a car that sees dozens (if not hundreds) of passengers in a day will end up becoming dirty or carrying bacteria.
Regardless of how well it’s cleaned out, some of that is likely to remain, along with items customers leave behind. While ride-share rides can be worse, cabs are not the cleanest ride around.
They’re Wired for Alarms
Cab drivers have learned the hard way they can be a target for danger. It can range from an upset customer carrying on to open robbery attempts. It’s why many cabbies are embracing technology with some cabs fitted with hidden cameras just in case the customer is up to something underhand.
There’s also been the push for “Panic buttons” that can send an SOS to the dispatch office and the police if something goes wrong. If nothing else, the idea they can be caught in an illegal act can deter a nasty customer.
It’s A Male-Dominated Field
It may appear sexist, especially in today’s world, but the blunt truth is that cab drivers remain one of the most male-dominated industries out there. Just 24 percent of global taxi drivers are women, with New York City having a miserable 1%. It’s at 2% in England while Israel and Russia can have 4%.
It seems many women aren’t as inclined to put up with the hassles or the dangers of the job, while some companies feel customers are more inclined to a male driver. While that may change in the future, for now, women cab drivers are scarce.
Drivers Need Endorsements
Usually, “Driver endorsements” are for race drivers. But taxi Hull drivers need them as well. While a service employs few, many are self-employed and have to acquire a special license with an endorsement by the state driving board.
That’s because passengers’ risks mean cab drivers have to be far more cautious than a typical driver. It’s why there’s a rise in ride-sharing services, those drivers don’t require the special deals cab drivers need.
The Upkeep Can Be a Nightmare
As expected, the maintenance has to be huge when a car is in use constantly during both the day and night. Some cabs are privately owned, while others belong to a service that allows them to be driven by different drivers on their shifts. Because the slightest delay means time and money lost, these cabs have to be kept in the constant best shape.
Even the smallest issue needs to be checked out immediately, with most driver costs going for constant oil changes and double-checking the engine daily. With all the work it gets, a taxi needs almost as much constant checking as a NASCAR racers.
The Mileage Isn’t as High as You’d Expect
One would assume a taxi has a stunningly high mileage given it’s driven all over a city every day. However, cabbies are smart to do their best to keep that down, plus the fact that many trips are only a few blocks rather than miles.
The average cabbie does 180 miles per day in NYC, which adds up to approximately 35-75,000 miles per year. Depending on size , other cities can be much lower. Thus, some city cabbies can still have lower mileage than some cross-country trekking trucks despite all their use.
It’s One of the Most Dangerous Occupations
When someone becomes a cab driver, they have to face a lot of dangers. It’s not just the risk of accidents or other matters. It’s also the fact that cab driving is one of the most dangerous occupations around.
It ranks as the highest murder rate for any job, with almost 18 out of every 100,000 killed for cash. Then there’s the large rate for accidents that can be nearly 20% of drivers. While the numbers have varied, the risk remains for cabbies.