Day Cabbie

San Francisco taxi stories from one of the very rare female drivers

The suspect dad

He flagged me down on Market between Franklin and Gough. There was something tentative about the way he flagged me down. I felt like he was hiding something. He had a stroller with him. I couldn't see what was in it. For a moment I wondered if he was the kind of person who uses a stroller to cart around personal belongings. He pointed at the stroller and said with a Spanish accent "Sleeping." I said "Ah." So there was a child in there.

He put the child on the backseat. It was a one-year-old boy. He folded up the stroller, and I put it in the trunk.

"Where are you going?"

"Divisadero.. but first, I have to pick up some medication."


"Right here... No, here... One more block." This went on for a couple of blocks.

He asked me to pull over at Market and Laguna. There is no pharmacy at that intersection. I was wondering what kind of "medication" he was picking up. He left the little boy in the cab with me. He was gone for about ten minutes. I am not a parent but this seemed kind of irresponsible. I tried to make the little boy laugh by playing peekaboo with him. I eventually succeeded. He bared his teeth at me. There was a huge gap between his two upper front teeth.

The dad came back. "Thank you for watching him," he said. "No problem," I said. I wondered if he had just taken his little son on a drug run.

"Where to now?"

"What time is it?"


"Oh, we have time. She doesn't get off work until 3:30. Let's go to the Marina. The playground there on Chestnut."


We talked about the little boy, his mom. The dad told me they live in the Outer Mission. I told him I live in the Inner Mission.

When we got to the playground on Chestnut, the dad pulled out a booklet of Paratransit tickets. I thought that was odd. People who use Paratransit tickets are usually old and/or disabled. But I didn't think too much about it. The fare was $17.05. I counted all the tickets in the booklet, and there was $18 worth. I also made sure that the white trip report sheet was on top and that it was signed. Without the trip report, the tickets aren't worth anything.

After counting, I put the booklet down on the center divider between the two front seats. Then I got up to get the stroller out of the trunk. The dad collected his son from the backseat. We thanked each other and wished each other a nice day.

After I took off, I picked up the Paratransit booklet to write down my cabbie number on the trip report. The white trip report was gone. One little corner of it was still there. The suspect dad must have ripped it off while I was getting the stroller and he was getting his son. Without the trip report, the Paratransit tickets can't be redeemed. He had literally ripped me off.

Now I knew what he had been hiding. This whole time he had probably been wondering if he would be able to rip me off.


At 6/10/2009 09:02:00 AM, Anonymous Megan said...

Wow, that guy sounds seriously shady. I feel bad for the kid.

At 6/10/2009 12:31:00 PM, Blogger amy.leblanc said...

:( so sad. for the boy, and the father, to go about their lives this way.

this is a minor detail but i'm confused about how that works - he took the trip report but left the tickets? i understand that you can't get paid, but what good does that do him?

At 6/10/2009 07:52:00 PM, Blogger Vera said...

I was wondering about that too. My feeling is that he gets the tickets illegally somehow, and he is going to use the trip sheet to pay (or rip off) some other cabbie.

At 6/12/2009 01:10:00 AM, Blogger G.S. said...

In 31 years of taxi driving I have never had a passenger leave a child unattended in my cab. Not for one minute, much less ten. Anyone who would attempt to do so would be certain to be, as you now know, big trouble in one way or another.

At 6/12/2009 03:42:00 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Hi Vera,

I just want to tell you I have become a big fan of your blog. I discovered it because it was linked to by my good friend Ms. Leblanc in the past, and I started reading your stories and became addicted. I like your writing style and your stories crack me up. I have been going through your archives at random lately and entertaining myself when I should be working. Thanks for all the fun. I hope you do publish a book of these stories someday!

Amy in Santa Cruz

At 6/15/2009 03:36:00 PM, Anonymous Luxton Rocket said...

Down in my town we had a regular who would leave one or both of his two daughters, 9 and 4 years old, in the cab while shopping or whatever. Lots of times they would fight or the younger one would cry. It was like babysitting. Many drivers would pass when dispatch said it was him.

Thanks again for the great stories, Vera. I looked for you at SFO when I was visiting a couple of weeks ago.

At 6/16/2009 10:32:00 AM, Blogger thomasherrod said...

yeah, feel sorry for the future of this kid. Have heard of paratransit fraud, havent experienced it yet. I tend to keep em in my pocket after counting. Sounds like he really planned it out with the stroller in the back (?!)...Try and give people the benefit of the doubt, and instinct becomes a demon sometimes. Be careful out there!

At 6/21/2009 12:51:00 PM, Blogger A Fitness Minute with Pat Anderson said...

I think your book will be a great success! Stay safe!

At 6/21/2009 06:10:00 PM, Blogger brokemoto said...

Do they compel the acceptance of those vouchers in San Francisco? There are various coupons issued here, in Your Nation's Capital, by the cab companies, the gubbamint and other organisations, but the gubbamint does not compel any driver to accept them, Y-E-T. There was some agitation to require acceptance of the D.C. Gubbamint 'Taxi Use Authorisation' voucher, but the Taxicab Commission, at the time, on the advice of its General Counsel, understood that the vouchers were not legal tender, thus it could not compel their acceptance.

Some cab companies do require the drivers to accept the company vouchers, but the argument there is that if you do not want to accept that company's vouchers, you can drive somewhere else.

Some companies do not require the drivers to accept the vouchers or the contracts. Here, there is this one company that does all of the Medicaid transports. They are paperless; what you must do is get the authorisation information from the dispatcher. You must then submit that, along with the taximeter receipt, to the cashier on the designated voucher pay-out days. It got to be such a pain in the posterior that when I drove for that company, I would not run the Medicaid contracts. If they had paper, I would run them, but no paper, I was not interested. I still dispatch for that company, but I drive for a different company.

The company for which I now drive requires you to accept the coupons, but it is easy to get them cashed, and they, alone amoung the companies in the District of Columbia, will allow you to pay fees with the coupons. They require that you submit only the voucher and that it have your cab number on it. They require no other nonsense.

I will not accept those gubbamint 'taxi use' vouchers, because you must go to one office, on certain days only, to ATTEMPT to cash them. Half of the time, they do not have any money there to pay you, and whether they have money or not, they keep you waiting forever and fifteen days. The result of that is a guaranteed fifty dollar parking summons and a good chance that they will tell you to come back another day to get paid. I avoid getting these sprung on me by asking them how they are going to pay at the start of the trip. I ask them if it is cash, credit card or coupon. If they say 'coupon', I ask to see it. If it is one of those gubbamint coupons, the prospective passengers get O-W-T forthwith, unless they want to pay cash.

Airline vouchers are another problem. At National and Dulles airports, the airlines require you to show your hack face when you try to cash them. Those airports are in Virginia, and they will accept the vouchers ONLY from drivers licenced in Virginia. Friendship Airport is in Maryland, and the airlines there will accept the coupons only from drivers licenced by Friendship Airport. District of Columbia drivers can not get paid if the customer gives them one of those airline coupons, so it is O-W-T, or come up with cash or a credit card, on those, too.

They do not compel acceptance of credit cards here,
Y-E-T, as they do in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. Since Dear Revered Leader Kim il-Fenty is an admirer of Vladimir Illyich Bloomberg, I expect that he is going to try to compel credit card acceptance here. He will get sued, as a credit card is not legal tender. I find it difficult to understand how you can compel someone to accept something other than legal tender for his services. I accept credit cards when I drive, but that is MY choice. But then, I am in the Demokratik People's Republik of New Kolumbia and am operating a cab that is over-regulated by the People's Taxikab Kommissariat.

Anyhow, good reading on this blog. I am always curious to see how the drivers in the other cities do this job.

At 7/11/2009 08:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a dishonest man. Shady? Without doubt.

Sucks that you were taken advantage of in that way.

-new reader Mario

At 7/29/2009 05:36:00 AM, Blogger King of New York Hacks said...

I get LOTS of shady too, goes with the biz. Peace brother.

At 8/16/2009 12:47:00 PM, Blogger Nickie Goomba said...

I'm oving this blog. Keep up the cabbin' and writin'.

At 8/22/2009 04:41:00 PM, Blogger Jose said...

Saludos de España. Te sigo atento

At 9/22/2009 10:27:00 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

Where are you?

At 9/27/2009 09:34:00 PM, Blogger Vera said...

I am taking a break from cab driving due to the economy. I intend to return to it and write more stories when things are looking brighter.

At 10/06/2009 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Vera,

You are missed. Hope all is going well for you.

At 10/29/2009 04:28:00 PM, Blogger John said...

Did you see that the first Prius cars in Australia have crossed the 550,000 Km it

At 11/27/2009 01:35:00 AM, Blogger NYCabbie said...

Same thing happened with one of my friend last week, he picked up four guys from marriot marqus at times square, drove them to penn station, he got out to help them with luggage. Guy who sat in front passenger seat told him that he forgot his cell phone inside and went to check that out.
It was $8.00 fare and he paid $20, my friend got happier with this amount of tip, but when returned to his driving seat and opened his middle compartment to put $20 bill in there, all his money was gone.

At 1/07/2010 02:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

At 1/13/2010 10:26:00 AM, Anonymous Zmey_sky said...

Just take a white slip from another book and cash out that paratransit. You will be just fine...

At 1/26/2010 01:10:00 PM, Blogger MJ said...


I'm a reporter with Mission Loc@l, I'm working on a story about some issues with taxis in San Francisco and I would love to have your input. If you are interested, please write me an email at your earliest convenience at

thank you

At 4/07/2010 06:15:00 AM, Anonymous Pattaya Girls said...

what a shit that passenger was, why didnt he just steal all the vouchers.

At 8/12/2010 02:23:00 PM, Blogger theruneman said...

I love your blog. Sucks about the scripts. Been there. I drove for Luxor for five years in the 90's. Waiting ten minutes for the little old lady to go three blocks to Safeway. Sometimes I miss it. And hey, whenever you get that book published, I'd love to buy a copy. Count me in.

At 12/31/2010 02:02:00 PM, Blogger NYC taxi photo said...

r u still blogging?

At 12/11/2011 12:18:00 AM, Blogger Henry Krinkle said...

We don't have paratransit tickets here in San Diego. We have vouchers that we get from the hospitals and the hotels that the company guarantees. We also have people with personal accounts, but they are few and far between and easy to keep track of.


At 1/08/2012 06:25:00 AM, Blogger Gary James said...

What makes it so hard to prevent being ripped off, is you rarely see it coming - you let your guard down. At least that's the way it works with me.

At 7/24/2012 04:40:00 PM, Blogger Ronald John Neal said...

I really feel sorry for your situation. Bad luck comes for people who do bad deeds to others. Anyway that dad will be caught soon in a situation he can't get away.

white cab jamul

At 4/08/2013 08:00:00 AM, Blogger Tom Hardy said...

Man that is so shady! My friend is a taxi driver in Mission. Thanks again for all the info and I hope you have not gotten ripped off again.

At 5/04/2013 02:47:00 AM, Blogger jessica robert said...

Wow its very nice and really very interesting post and really i enkoyed very much.Thanks for sharing such a nice post.Taxi Cab San Jose

At 2/17/2014 03:24:00 AM, Blogger perveen ss said...

cab in delhi
cabs in delhi
delhi cab

At 7/29/2014 03:24:00 AM, Blogger mxsmoto said...

The content shared is too descriptive and informative. I would like to see more updates regarding Cab Services In Delhi, India.

At 1/07/2015 12:58:00 PM, Blogger Michele Ward said...

une application destinée à faciliter la localisation et réservation d’un taxi se trouvant dans une même zone que le client qui parfois a du mal à le localiser alors qu’il se trouve à moins d’un bloc de sa position.
Taxi-Diali, comme son nom l’indique clairement, c’est une application bien adaptée à tout téléphone mobile fonctionnant sous le système Android. Une fois téléchargée dans chaque portable, du client et du chauffeur de taxi, elle permet à ce dernier d’être facilement repéré par son client qui cherche patiemment un taxi.
Bien sur, pour le client dès que l’application lui signale la présence d’un taxi ou plusieurs dans la même zone où il se trouve, il aura toute la latitude de choisir et de faire appel à celui qui lui convient le mieux puisque toutes les coordonnées du taxi sont affichées dans son écran. Lorsque le client valide son choix pour tel taxi , le chauffeur du dit taxi peut également identifier la position de l’appelant grâce à la géolocalisation intégrée dans l’application et rappliquer directement à sa position sans qu’il ne lui la donne.
Taxi Diali est un service gratuit qui permet de faire gagner beaucoup de temps et épargner des attentes indéterminées à tous ceux qui sont en déplacement dans une grande ville ou tout simplement à ceux qui veulent pour une raison ou une autre

Find your taxi with one click

At 1/30/2015 03:17:00 AM, Blogger greennn said...

Wonderful that's professional and friendly way to serve passengers because while you are traveling if your have friendly and professional driver and comfortable seats then journey will be good and you will have memorable memories same like, these are our view and policies we deliver Metro Airport Taxi in your way

At 2/05/2015 02:10:00 AM, Blogger andrewmathew said...

I have checked all your blog, Really you guys rocks.nice bunch of information and tips for users.i hope you will deliver same kind of good and quality blogs in future also.all the best for your blogging.Taxi Jonesboro Georgia || Taxi Jonesboro Ga

At 2/05/2015 02:23:00 AM, Blogger andrewmathew said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3/16/2015 11:56:00 AM, Blogger Xiu Zhen said...

Hi :) I am a graphic design student and currently working on my final project. My final project is about female cab driver. Do you mind to do an email conversation with me regarding to your job? :D Thank You!
Susan Lim


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home