The Orion

Cab drivers deserve cash tips, respect

Kevin Crittenden

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Before I lived in Chico I could count how many times I had used a taxi on both hands. In the three years that I’ve lived here I’ve spent countless nighttime hours in the back seat and as a driver, carting people around. This is a short list of rules I think everyone who uses a cab should follow.

Don’t waste your driver’s time

Five minutes is too long to wait during peak working hours. Keep in mind that when a cab arrives they’ve already committed the time it took to get there. I don’t have warm memories of sitting in front of dorms or houses waiting for customers to pick their outfit, do their makeup, take that bong rip or chug that last Keystone. More time should equal more money and drivers are justified in running the meter as soon as they arrive.

Puke out the window

If you have to be sick, stick your head out the window and let the chunks fly. Ask for a doggie bag, or request a pit stop if you’re sitting between two people. Most drivers prefer a minor detour to ending their night early because of touchy guts. There’s nothing worse than a blackout drunk who can’t get the words, “Pull over!” out faster than the half-digested Jack in the Box.

Tip

Just because cabbies handle a lot of cash, it doesn’t mean much of it ends up in their pockets. Even a small tip makes a difference. Taxi drivers don’t receive an hourly base rate of pay to pad their income — tipping makes up for the idle hours between bar rushes. Also, trips through the drive-thru should be awarded with extra cash, not a side of fries.

Don’t rob cabbies

Just don’t do it. It’s not nice and they don’t carry enough cash to make it worthwhile. Although Chico isn’t particularly dangerous for cab drivers, times are tight and the temptation to pull a fast one has crept into the minds of more than a few knuckleheads in these parts. Be aware that most drivers have pepper spray, stun guns and short tempers regarding this kind of criminal mischief.

Kevin Crittenden can be reached at [email protected] or or @kevlodius.

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Cab drivers deserve cash tips, respect