Boston taxi driver nets $200 a day and wonders why

Boston cab driver cash registers ring up $21 million dollars in sales every Month states the TAXI CONSULTANT REPORT delivered to the mayor’s office in October 2013.

Boston licensed taxi cabs , TNCs ( Transportation Network Companies) and livery operators were the subjects of the study.

I asked the driver of a taxi on its way to South Station about those figures and he said “no, no that is not possible, I barely get $200 a day after a full shift and I’ve been driving for 20 years” he said.

He wonders why the report says $21 million a month and he’s not getting enough. His Chinese heavy accent made one thing clear — the majority of his cab fare trips are short distances.

I hailed his taxi at Mass Ave and Huntington Ave on a late Friday night.

“You got cash?” he asked after I climbed in. I will do cash if you insist, I said. These drivers don’t get money from credit card transactions for several days.

South Station is a straight ahead shot down Huntington but not tonight. Traffic was clogged in the Chinatown area so we took side streets to avoid it.

My fare was $11 and some change.  At my drop-off, a passenger was eager to get in as soon as I cleared the seat.

On rare days he said he makes $500.  But in his 10 years of experience driving, he said that is not the norm.

“$21 million a month is a lot of money!” he said out loud several times during the route. “People don’t have lots of money. They don’t leave tips. They scared they going to lose their jobs. When somebody else loses their jobs they think they are next. They won’t tip!,”  he confidently explained.

Could be the Long Distance trips that you’re not seeing I reasoned.  A lot of them originate at the airport.

The Consultants Report found a majority of the $250 million in annual revenue from all taxi fares comes from short, random, crosstown trips.  It found a shortage of  airport coverage on heavy travel days.

He was happy to see the fare waiting for me to step out .  I think it had been a slow night for him.

” Tip this man!” I suggested to this complete stranger on my way out.

The driver smiled and said something nice when he heard me say that.

I don’t know if the new fare jumping in was going to be a cash paying customer but she had lots of bags to load.

Movef Concierge serves  long trips to licensed taxi drivers and town car fleets.