Taxis

Interesting article about the local taxi market by the TU's Tim O'Brien -- once said to have too few taxis, a driver tells him the market is now "oversaturated." Also: a cab driver in the Capital District makes about $20k a year working 60 hours a week, according to a dispatcher for a local taxi company. [TU]

Comments

Are you bleeping kidding me? The taxis in the Capital Region are deplorable! They are filthy, many of the drivers are rude, you almost always are forced to share a cab with a stranger (and pay the same fare).

I'm, EMBARRASSED when I have business associates travel to the region.

why are albany county officials thanking cabbies? for providing filthy cabs that reek of cigarettes, vomit, and lord knows what else? for providing cabs that have readily apparent mechanical and safety issues? for not showing up? for telling me all about their sex life at 4 am on my way to the airport (amen they actually showed up)?

where can anyone actually hail a cab in this region? you can't.

we have to pay outrageous prices for these wretched death-traps that they pass off as cabs. the transportation options in this region are more embarrassing then our bagels.

and the cab sharing is ridiculous and dangerous.

One of the things that struck me after reading the article is that it doesn't seem like anyone is happy with the current taxi situation in this area. Whenever the topic comes up, there are usually complaints from people about poor service and price. And based on the comments in the TU article, it doesn't sound like the drivers are satisfied with how things are, either. (Maybe the taxi companies themselves are doing OK.)

While we are on the subject... anyone know the going rate from Troy to Albany? Last week we were charged $10 from downtown to midtown in Albany!

Yeah, whats with sharing a taxi and the fare is the same? How can that be legal? That was big in Long Island too at the railroad stops. Everyone paid like $10, they put 4 people in a taxi and drove maybe 2 miles for $40? I feel bad that these guys are making $20K a year for a 60 hour week, though.

Melissa $10 is a steal. I paid $20 about a year ago.

The last time I took a cab in Albany, the driver picked up a hoard of very drunk teenagers, dropped them off at a bar on the opposite side of downtown from my house, and realized as they began to exit the cab, that one of the girls had puked on the seat. I had to ride down Pearl in a puke cab, listening to the cabby cursing about teens, and still pay him the full fare. How is that crazy double passenger thing allowed, and why is it happening if we have too many taxis? I stopped calling cabs and started calling friends after that.

The article features cabbies at the train station and airport, and how they are people's "first welcome" to the city. One positive thing is that getting a cab FROM the airport or train station is usually a good experience. I've never had to share a cab from either place. But I've stopped relying on cabs to bring me from home to the airport. Their practice of picking you up, and then going to drop off/pick up someone else, has made me almost miss my plane on more than one occasion. As others have said, how is cab sharing considered okay (the norm really, for this region), and is it even legal?

Oh, and while I'm at it... not entirely on-topic, but any chance of a little better mass-transit service out to the airport? The cabs seem to have a monopoly on it, except for a couple of CDTA routes that only run during the day. A dedicated express bus from somewhere on Central Avenue, maybe, sort of like the M60 that runs out to LaGuardia from Morningside Heights would be nice. One that would run until maybe 1 a.m. or so. And... dare I dream... how about a light-rail service out there? Maybe one of the reasons we can't attract more business and build a convention center is that we make it so hard (or at least an uninspiring process) to get here.

"One positive thing is that getting a cab FROM the airport or train station is usually a good experience. I've never had to share a cab from either place."

I have actually shared cabs from the airport, BUT that turns out to be a good thing. The dispatcher at the cab stand asks you up front if it's okay and tells you how much it's going to cost (always less than what it would be by yourself). The driver turns off the meter and that's it.

At the train station on the other hand, I was not asked if it was okay, and the driver sat and waited for 15 minutes just in case anyone else was looking for a ride. If the cost wasn't being reimbursed by my employer, I would have gotten out and walked across the Dunn Bridge.

Came home and search "Puke Cab Albany" after a 10 minute ride in a car that smelled so badly of puke after getting to our destination we had to do laundry. Only place Ive ever seen a sign in a cab that has a "puke cleanup fee" Ive taken cabs all over North America, never seen the kinda disgusting cabs they have in Albany! Driver attempted to double up even though there was already 3 of us in the cab and then was rude to us when he was unimpressed with our tip, but Im not tipping someone to ferry me around in a car so stained and smelly I nearly puked and got dinged $50 for the cleanup fee. Brutal

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