How to be a Minicab DriverBecoming a Minicab Driver
"He says I slaughter men for a living." He flies and crashes into the front seat doors this year. Drivers do not know who is getting into their cars and they have no clue about the type of figure they are riding. In the past year, there have been more than 1,000 attacks on minicab users in London, 214 of them sexual crimes and 40 of them rape.
The driver is also at acute risk. Recently, a Minicab man in northern London was hit 16 and 16 of the time by racially motivated mallets. How's it feel to be a minicab driver? It'?s the history of how I got a minicab driver position that shines in itself. "No," I answer, "I want to ride as a driver.
"<font color="#808080">SHARLA: Your driver number is 09. "A few moments later I'm parking and operational as a minicab driver for what I'm going to call Moonlight Cars and its 66-year-old "guvner", "Mister Sam". I' m not asked if I have a driver's license or minicab coverage, if my vehicle is fit to drive - let alone if I know my way around London.
Moonlight Cars is a London minicab licensee - one of 2,136 minicab operators licenced by the Public Carriage Office last year. Being an authorised driver, he should make sure that his driver carries a current driving license, has taken out an instalment payment policy and that his vehicle has up-to-date TÜVs.
"There are about 25 riders who work for me and only about five of them are qualified," he told me later. Public Carriage Office, part of Transport for London, says that it pays each carrier an unexpected visit once a year. Stage two, which is scheduled to begin this year, includes the licencing of the 40,000 riders expected to work for licenced carriers.
It has a minicab with everything on it. "Does it bother you if we smoke?" asks one. Later I ask one of the other riders, a believing Muslim called Akbar, if he considers it possible to be considered unseen. "My passengers are a colorful team. It earns 1,400 per month, he says, before taking out an assurance for tenancy and rewards (220 pounds), gasoline (40 pounds) and tenancy to the boss (240 pounds) and settling only 900 pounds.
Genuine cash should be earned as an operating company. Mr. Sam is open for work between 18.00 and 6.00, seven days a week. Goodbye. This will get him about 4,000 a month in rent from his two dozen chauffeurs. There are five kids, one of them is a boy who is helping him run the company, and he has been since 1985.
It' all completely legit, note that sex is a regular, legit trade in the West End. Advertisement for her service - "busty 19-year-old Swede " - is shown next to the revolving indicator lamp in green and indicates that there are "minicabs here" until late at night. Here you can see the "Minicabs here". For Mr Sam to work means to be dragged into a gloomy underground world where the line between lawful and illegitimate, licenced and unauthorised, is as smeared as the glowing urban lanterns reflected from my rain-blown windshield.
It is ironic that the best and most respectable are those whose professions are most dubious. Some time later, night work as a minicab driver begins to re-wire the inner watch and the minds. Coming home at 6 a.m., going to sleep when most are awake, working when most are sleepy, riders - even those who cleanly and seemingly normally start the day at work - start calling themselves mavericks.
The facts are that most of the time when he looks in his rear-view mirrors he will see humans there, but he will completely be alone. Because he will know better than anyone that his minicab is a dangerous place where anything can go on.