Taxi Cab Drivers v. Rant
I swear to god the next one that passes me within 12” is getting their effing quarter panel kicked in. Rode from Oakland to Urban Active in Bakery Square and back this morning and had two taxi cabs pass me within 12-18” on top of tailgating and damn near running me over at stop signs.
I know a guy who is a cab driver who pretty much told me that taxis don’t care for cyclists whatsoever. Since then every time I see a cab around, I double-pay attention to them.
You can report dangerous driving by Yellow Cab taxis to the PGH Transportation Group:
And to the PA Public Utilities Commission:
Of course this is generally only useful if you can get the taxi number (or license plate) and taxi company. Unfortunately traffic and staying alive sometimes distracts from this ideal.
I had written down some info about a cab that cut me off the other week and had been meaning to send it in. Thanks for the prompting.
Im just amazed at how worked up this guy got me. Im a pretty laid back person and I know that there are inherent risks with riding on the street but jesus christ, this was just ridiculous. Of course I did just leave the gym and he pulled his van over and about got out of the car to confront me when I smack his window so my adrenaline was pumping.
I know a guy who is a driver who pretty much told me that motorists don’t care for cyclists whatsoever. Since then every time I see a car around, I double-pay attention to them.
there, I fixed it.
I know a guy who is a cyclist who pretty much told me that cyclists don’t care for motorists whatsoever. Since then, every time I see a bicycle around, I double-pay attention to them.
And smile, and wave, and ring my bell.
I’ve found that people who drive cars/trucks/cabs/buses as part of their jobs have less patience for cyclists than civilian drivers, especially when on duty.
These are people who probably face pressure to meet time points, make deliveries, not crash, and not hurt anyone with their company’s vehicle on company time, etc. Cabbies are also carrying passengers, so that’s probably another liability and another anxiety that’s probably going on there.
This morning I was being tailed by an 18-wheel Straub truck for a little while in Millvale. Laid back all of three seconds before honking, nearly startled me off my bike. It’s that corporate pressure!
Straub truck?! I’m so angry because it’s so delicious.
As far as cabbies, I suspect calling their manager/dispatcher is useless – culture and some cabbies own their cabs whereas liability/culpability is cumbersome – so definitely report to the PUC.
straub? delicious? this must be that bizarro-world i’ve always been hearing about!
My impression is that people who drive cars/trucks/cabs/buses as part of their job despise cyclists, other drivers, buildings, bunnies, and unicorns. Plus anything “low-fat”.
Even when I’m in my car, I notice that many cab drivers rank high on the worst drivers in town scale
I always have problems with yellow cab. not even necessarily bad drivers, just that when I call them, they never show up and are rude when they do. When I call the company to complain, they tell me that there’s nothing they can do – the drivers are independent contractors, and not actually yellow cab employees. I assume this accounts for their behavior on the road, though I could be mistaken.
Of all bad ‘motorist’ interactions, cabbies have definitely been the worst offenders.
My interactions with trucks have been vastly different. On railroad street, where Pitt Ohio is, their drivers often wait, signal for me to go by, or extend other friendly behavior quite frequently. Might just be them though…
I dunno. Access vans and red landscape trucks are my least faves….there are cabs in Pittsburgh?
I have a special hate for UPMC shuttles. I think the drivers must get bonuses for having points on their licenses or something.
I am nearly forced off the road by Post Gazette trucks at least once a month. I also see them pulling some really sketchy maneuvers WRT driving on the wrong side of the road, in bus lanes, and making u-turns…
Tow trucks are the worst. Hands down.
I drove a cab for a few years. A few things
– If you smash it up, it has not bearing on
the driver. They dont care, they essentially
rent it for 10,12,24 hours. Kicking it does
not matter to them. they all have 200K+
miles on them.
– A lot of drivers have been driving for 20
hours straight. Seriously. I used to drive
for 24 hours straight. There are no
regulations on this.
– Generalizing anybody is shitty. I can
think of 5 people who were bike messengers
who became taxi drivers. No need to lump
“they tell me that there’s nothing they can do – the drivers are independent contractors, and not actually yellow cab employees.”
That’s bull. When it comes to employment, there is no difference. If an independent contractor is not adhering to the company’s rules then they have breached the contract and can be let go. Companies that hire independent contractors have all the powers and techniques available to them to modify performance and behavior of contractors that they do for employees.
Saying there’s nothing they can do is code for “we don’t give a crap because we don’t have to.”
Pittsburgh does have cabs, but you shouldn’t assume that they work the same as they do elsewhere.
Your best bet for reliable taxi service is to happen upon a driver who seems to be good and ask them for their card. When you need a cab, call them up (preferably in advance). Drivers also have co-ops of (say) 5-6 drivers; if your driver is in one of them he can pass you on to someone who’s available right away or soon. Guys who work this way are professional and they are reliable. It’s iffier outside the system.
Also, there’s car service. Look for guys loitering outside the supermarket. (Though make sure they’re someone you’ve seen around for a while.)
I see cabs somewhat frequently now in Oakland/Shadyside/South Side/downtown but when I lived in Highland Park I never did. I think a lot of it is spending more time in those commercial districts than I did before.
I have a special hate for UPMC shuttles.
Agreed. They are forever taking up the right lane on Fifth Avenue.
As if to prove my point: Streetview caught them stopped right in front of a no-stopping/no-parking sign!
Post Gazette trucks in the morning on Penn in the Strip are like unguided missiles.
Access vans/buses ftw
A LOT of those drivers are ex-cons and will probably fuck you up if you sass em
This: Tow trucks are the worst. Hands down.
and this: I have a special hate for UPMC shuttles.
I assume that tow truck drivers must pass some sort of jack assery test to get a job.
I am forever flummoxed by the UPMC shuttles that stop, without warning, in front of Montefiore WHEN THERE IS A BIG DRIVEWAY THEY COULD PULL INTO.
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