U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois > Chicago
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-07-2011, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,528,996 times
Reputation: 1945

Advertisements

Gee, if a medalion is soo expensive it would be nice just to counterfeit one and make money from a fake taxi. You own the fake taxi and medallion and just roll in all the cash.

Speculators pay > $250,000 for Chicago taxi medallions | The Menace of Privilege

https://www.google.com/search?q=Chic...DcSKsgLs2b2jBw
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-09-2011, 11:23 AM
 
Location: CHicago, United States
6,934 posts, read 7,549,900 times
Reputation: 3491
Driving a taxi isn't an easy job. You have to drive probably 12-hours a day to make any reasonably decent money. I did it for a while. The money I earned in the first 8 hours paid for the taxi for the day, the gas, and the additional hours were profit. It didn't come out to much of an hourly take-home wage. I dorve Weekends, mostly. Drove overnight Friday and Saturday, Sunday afternoon and then turned-in the car. I made less money weekdays. I gained a new respect for taxi drivers. There are a lot of unlicensed drivers out there, guys sharing vehicles. Enforcement of the licensing of drivers isn't very good. I frequently get into a taxi and the driver doesn't know where I'm going or how to get there. Or they take the wrong route. If you're clean and decent and customer service friendly those things will increase your tips. Clean your cab. Turn on the air, in the summer. Have a newspaper or two or magazine for people to read. Don't lecture people or engage in political debates ... unless invited to by the passenger. Smile. Turn-off the cellphone when passengers are in the vehicle.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2012, 05:20 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,479 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by thatsonlyme View Post
It's an all thread but apparently there is still some interest in it.
You asked for it people, I am Chicago cab driver with about 3 years of experience. I'm a lone wolf, I don't hang out with other cab drivers much so I'm writing from my personal experience and experience of those few cab drivers I hang out with. A friend of mine was a cab driver and he recommended this job to me.
The fact is, this job is not for everybody. it can be hard to stay motivated if you're not self disciplined. It can be hard to leave the house sometimes because you don't feel like working and there is nobody to make you go to work.
Most cab drivers complain about their income. I hear it from other passengers, I hear it from other cab drivers while at cab stands. It may be so, but that's certainly not because there is no money to be made in cab business, it's more likely because those drivers spend their days waiting in front of hotels, hoping to get an airport fare and then sit at the airport another few hours.

here is the truth. I tried different jobs and couldn't find anything that will bring me income like driving a cab. maybe serving or bartending in a good restaurant or bar, but I certainly make more than servers in so-so restaurants. I know because I tried it.

The most important thing when driving a cab (besides knowing your way around) is choosing the right shift for yourself. I tried working 12 hour night shift for over a year but money was not really good. I never tried day shift because I imagine money is even worse. I'll explain later. let's crunch some numbers. 12 hour shift lease is $350. gas will cost around $50 if you drive full 12 hours. I always tried to work 5 days and that was the reason why I wasn't making much. my shift would start at 5pm, most cab drivers live on the north side so that's where pick up/drop off location usually is. this sucks because that means I would lose rush hour business because by the time I get downtown it would be already 5:45 - 6 o'clock. sometimes I'd get lucky and pick up someone going from the north side downtown.
anyways, I never stayed til' 5am because there is nothing happening late at night on weekdays. I'd stay til' midnight if there is some business and I generally tried to pay for my lease in 3 days (usually wed-thu and sun). that means 350 for the lease plus 100-ish bucks for the gas. that's about $150 a day, doable in 6-8 hours (2-3 fares an hour on average would equal to 20-30 bucks an hour). $20-30/hour (average) is what i usually get. Of course, sometimes I drive empty for an hour, then I make 40 or 60 in the next hour so my average comes to 20-30.
then comes the weekend. that's when I make money for myself. fri-sat I average 30/hour and I usually work 10-12 hours. I can make $300-400 on friday and about the same on saturday. that's 600-800 - 100 for the gas. on average week I will net $500-700. that's usually in 5-6 days (i work 6 sometimes 7 days on slow weeks). Just to be honest, I had slow weeks when I'd make barely $300 but I also managed to net $1000 during 7 day night shift when I wanted to buy dslr camera.
realistically you can expect $500-800 doing this shift. of course you pay your own taxes so it will be less but since you're technically running your own business you can deduct many things.

now I pay for full time 24/7 cab because it's more convenient, flexible and I don't have to share it with anybody. the lease is $575/week. I work more but I can also make more. I still have the same system. I try to pay for my lease in first 3 days, then work 2-3 days for myself. I work 10 hours during week days (sometimes i start early, around 6 or 7 am, sometimes I start around noon, it all depends. I can get early rush hour business so I make more money when doing this. I make $200-250 per day which is enough to pay for my lease + gas (575+150 for gas = $725). all I need is to average $20-25/hour. that's not too hard most of the time because all I need is a few $7-8 fares where people usually leave $10.
then comes friday and saturday again. i start around noon and work until 2 or 4 am (14-16 hours). again, average $30 (when it gets really busy on weekends I can make up to $60 or 80/hour so that helps with my averages) comes up to $450-500 per night. I burn around $150 worth of gas in those 2 days but I can still easily get $800/week. if I work one extra day (6 days) that's pure profit and it could be another $100-200. if I work 7 days that adds another $100-200. having a cab 24/7 gives me a chance to make anywhere from $700/week on low end up to $1200 or more. I usually get worn out by the end of the week and that's why I don't make more. in theory you could work 20 hours a day, take naps at airports or cab stands (trust me, there are people out there doing it) and make even more, but the question is, is it worth your sanity?

it's not an easy job. it's hard to have social life when you have to work weekends. but weekends are a must in this line of work. driving gets you tired like nothing else. sitting all day in one position will leave a tool on your body, especially your back. driving around alone and picking up strangers can be dangerous even though I've never had any serious issues. only few times aggressive drunks which I easily managed to calm down just by being kind to them and sometimes overly touchy drunk girls.
overall, the job itself is hard but it's way better than working for $10/hour, having a boss and crappy schedule.

Of course, in order to make money as a cab driver you need to know your way around. it takes time and experience but people are generally understanding if you tell them that you're a new driver. The money you make also depends on your personality. there are so many rogue cab drivers out there and they give us all bad name. I follow few simple rules:
- absolutely no cell phone use when customer is in the cab! this is service industry!
- be polite and courteous even if the customer is rude (this one can be hard to swallow sometimes but it works)
- should I mention shower daily and keep your cab clean?
- be sure you know where you're going, if you're not ask!
- if you make a mistake apologize and offer resolution, a discount or even a free ride if you really messed it up
- don't bother people who don't want to be bothered. some people are just not in mood to talk.

many cab drivers just have no common sense. calling police because somebody cannot pay $10 ride is just plain stupid. not giving proper change back or giving yourself the tip can only get you in trouble and it amazes me how low will some people go for a buck or two. have some dignity! if you don't wanna tip me, fine it's not gonna hurt me much because there are still decent people out there.
and I forgot to mention, tips are my main source of income. without tips I'd probably be making minimum wage. that's the way meters are rigged. that also explains why some cabbies complain so much. good personality and positive attitude means bigger tips. good driving habits and safety are important too.

also, having a chauffeurs license is a great protection from unemployment. all you have to do is renew it every year and if you ever lose your job or you need extra money you can always get a cab!

sorry for the long post but I was unable to find any information about this when I just started so I just wanted to help. all the numbers are real but they are not absolute. it all depends on you. your experience, personality, company you drive for (some companies are better than the others), then there are other variables like holidays, conventions, etc. there are slow weeks and there are good weeks. I love being flexible. I love being able to run errands while working. I love being able to have vacation whenever I want and as long as I want. I do not love driving a cab but it will do until I find something better.
thatsonlyme, is absolutely right and the numbers are right. I also used to drive a taxi in Chicago for 2 years, 2006-2008 and I know how it is. Before that i worked in construction for 2 years. I also worked 12hr night shifts 5pm-5am and I was making the same money. Just focus on one area and get the best out of it. Chicago is a beautiful city and every day u get to see new places and people even though you could hit 200 miles driving a cab in a busy night.

favorite work day was St. Patricks lol everybody is happy and give good tips. Xmas ans New Years Eve..even better. I did not drive 500 feet with my cab empty for 12 hours literally, in those days.
I liked this job because I believe that everybody should be their own bosses and that the corporate world is leading us in the wrong direction. Globalization is evil. RON PAUL for president 2012! END THE FED!

why did I quit? I took the bad decision to move back to Europe. sh|t happens.

I still have friends in Chicago and they say the best deal right now is to get a hybrid taxi, like a toyota camry. You would pay around 40-50$ on gas for a hard working weekend.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-20-2012, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,696 posts, read 91,732,225 times
Reputation: 29574
Quote:
Originally Posted by roofcrash View Post
I still have friends in Chicago and they say the best deal right now is to get a hybrid taxi, like a toyota camry. You would pay around 40-50$ on gas for a hard working weekend.
Yeah, you're seeing more and more hybrid taxis plying the streets, anything from Priuses (Prii?) to Ford Escape hybrids. A dispatch place up the road from me has a whole fleet of Altima hybrids. That took some resources to obtain since Nissan only sold them in 9 states, New York being the closest one to Chicago.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-04-2012, 12:18 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,261 times
Reputation: 10
I drive a taxi in a medium sized small town in the bay area of California. I work 12 hours a day, pay for all the gas I burn and give the taxi company almost 60% of the daily meter.
As an example: Today I worked 12 hours, metered $248.00, spent $45.00 on fuel and paid the company $116.00 which was for their % cut. My share was $87.29. $87.29 split by 12 hours is $7.27 per hour. Not even minimum wage, and today was one of my better days.
I've been driving taxi for a total of 6 + years and have seen my take home pay plummet in the past 3 or 4 years. Main reason is too many cabs out there, and also the economy, cost of fuel, etc.. Also, the beginning of the month income is better than the end of the month.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-04-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: North Jackson
2,123 posts, read 3,400,421 times
Reputation: 2884
If the numbers you give below are correct, you would make more money working fast food. Under easier and safer conditions. Fast food places pay even more for people willing to work nights and weekends, which you are probably already used to.

So why drive - what am I missing? Is there some benefit that you're not telling us? Not having to answer to anyone? Kind of being your own boss? No one yelling at you, telling you to clean the bathrooms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalTaxiLady View Post
I drive a taxi in a medium sized small town in the bay area of California. I work 12 hours a day, pay for all the gas I burn and give the taxi company almost 60% of the daily meter.
As an example: Today I worked 12 hours, metered $248.00, spent $45.00 on fuel and paid the company $116.00 which was for their % cut. My share was $87.29. $87.29 split by 12 hours is $7.27 per hour. Not even minimum wage, and today was one of my better days.
I've been driving taxi for a total of 6 + years and have seen my take home pay plummet in the past 3 or 4 years. Main reason is too many cabs out there, and also the economy, cost of fuel, etc.. Also, the beginning of the month income is better than the end of the month.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-04-2012, 01:13 PM
 
622 posts, read 1,063,451 times
Reputation: 469
why wouldn't folks interested in driving a cab get a job driving trucks instead? much more lucrative!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-04-2012, 03:07 PM
 
156 posts, read 281,645 times
Reputation: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewthedru View Post
why wouldn't folks interested in driving a cab get a job driving trucks instead? much more lucrative!
I interviewed with some truck companies for management positions.

Turnover for drivers was so bad that part of the job requirements is convincing these poor sods to not jump ship.....one company had a public ranking for driver retention(one of the major national ones) so all employees could see who was "failing".

Trucking can be lucrative but it's isolating and the experience doesn't transfer well.

If you were single and willing to slug it out it pays better but way too many drivers have families who just can't abide by the 3-5 days a month home time.

Also, pay rates for experience don't increase exponentially. Some companies will pay a 5 yr. driver the same as a 15 yr. driver. You can go independent and make more with a supportive family willing to be brokers.

Limo driving seems to be a nice balance of pay and respect. Home at night and apparently attracts alot of women.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-04-2012, 03:13 PM
 
622 posts, read 1,063,451 times
Reputation: 469
I work in the industry and that's an accurate description. However, there are short routes that can get you home every night.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-04-2012, 03:13 PM
 
156 posts, read 281,645 times
Reputation: 121
I wish they allowed motorcycle taxis.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Illinois > Chicago
View detailed profiles of:
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top