Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Taxi Driver

Sometimes I commute in a taxi or CNG and get into conversations with the drivers regarding their occupation. They rent the taxis from the owner on a daily basis and pay for all expenses of running the vehicle for the day.

Daily rental: CNG: Tk 600; small blue/black taxi: 800; yellow cab: 900-1050;
Gas (CNG) expenses: Tk 120-150
Daily take-home: Tk 200-500 (after paying daily rental, gas, food)
Biggest pain: 2-3 hour wait at CNG station to fill up
Biggest joy: a long "khep" - to Norsingdi, Bhulta, Tongi, Savar, etc (assuming they don't get caught by a cop for breaking the routing rules)
Busiest day: Friday, when a lot of people go "home" for weekend; others just go out
Slowest day: Saturday - no one wants to go anywhere
Rainy days: can't handle all the people who want a ride
Working hours: 7am to 10 or 11pm.
Working days: alternate days since they need rest after 16 hours of driving
Kms covered in average day: around 300

The masses prefer CNGs over the taxis because of ventilation and mobility/navigability. But on winter days taxis are more in demand, since the open sides of a CNG cannot protect the passengers from cold.

Why do so many drivers say "No" to passengers when their vehicle is empty? Most drivers claim it has to do with the destination. If the passenger wants to go to a location from where it is hard for the driver to find another fare, then they say No. (Hmm, next time I hear a No I might try offering twice the metered fare - that should work, right? The trouble is as soon as I hear that No I am so irritated that there is no way I want to talk to the guy or see his face again!)


shafiur said...

Informative. Thanks. I have been forced from time to time to take a yellow cab for a good part of the day...that pleases them no end too.

ulysses said...

You are welcome!

Sorry, but re-reading my article, I realize it is confusing. All the data in that table are from the point of view of the driver, so "Daily Rental" really means "Daily Rental that Driver Pays to Owner".

But, I have found that if you rent a taxi for the better part of a day, eg, to go to Savar or somesuch, then the passenger's rental costs are close to the driver-to-owner rental costs... Eg, a 5-6 hour rental to Savar on a Yellow Cab costs the pax about Tk 700.

Likely reason is: if the driver can make up his daily rental costs with one long trip during the day, then whatever else he earns in the evening is his to keep.

Oh well, enough on taxi economics!