Saturday, December 27, 2003

For Quick Earning With Little Expense, Consider Cab Driving
by Kurt Wettstein

I can almost always get a job immediately, anywhere in the country. Drivers often quit, and cab owners are anxious to keep their equipment rolling.

After 6 months, a driver will usually start to "burn out" and not put in as many hours. That's okay: if you've worked hard and not spent much, you'll have enough money to move on.

I just quit the best deal I ever had: 38% of meter plus owner paid gas. I did so much business I couldn't handle the stress. But I now have enough to live modestly for two years.

I usually lease a 24-hour (single shift) cab and sleep in it, bathing at public facilities. Generally, if one is working hard, the owner gives you a lot of leeway.

You will need a valid driver's license with good record, and a sense of direction and ability to rapidly learn your way around. Cab driving is a good way to scout a new area, and gain information and interesting experiences.

I buy a map and (if available) a cab-drivers handbook. The handbook tells the city's numbering system, and the map shows lakes, rivers, railroads which break the system.

Alas, driving is becoming increasingly competitive and, in big cities, regulated. Also, some cities are dangerous, even if one knows the streets well. I advise: small towns, or working-class suburbs adjacent to big cities. Depressed areas are actually good places to make money as many people there can't afford cars. You'll be surprised how many people I take to welfare offices. Waitresses and bartenders often tip well, because THEY depend on tips. Las Vegas is, by universal acclaim, the best place to earn big bucks. As with anything, ask the old timers - which will be easier after one has worked for a while.

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