A day in the life...
Ever wondered what a typical day for a taxi driver looks like? We're very proud of our drivers, and we realise that sometimes, when you're a passenger, it's easy to forget that taxi drivers are humans too. This blog will give you a firsthand ride along with one of our Wellington drivers for a day, so you can see just how hard these guys work (all around the country - not just in Wellington!)
Note: The driver pictured is not the one who contributed the blog below.
3am: My alarm goes off - time to get up and get ready!
3:30am: Fill in my logbook, jump into my car and log in to my dispatch app to see if there are any jobs waiting that need accepting. If there are jobs to accept, it's time to celebrate - that's usually a sign it's going to be a good day! If there are no jobs waiting, then I'll head out to somewhere where I can sit and wait for either dispatch jobs or hails (where you hail me on the street). I'll also check the flights for the day - the first international flight leaves Wellington at 6:30am so most organised folk will start booking their rides to the airport anytime from 3:30am. Most of the last-minute travellers will start calling in their bookingsto the airport at around 5:30am.
6am: Decision time - go to the airport and wait for the jobs coming off the first flight that lands at 7am, or hang around in the city to try my luck for the last few jobs before rush hour.
7am: This is peak taxi time in Wellington and will run until about 9am. Flights are landing at the airport, flights are leaving, people are heading to work or need lifts to their first meeting of the day, and kids are being dropped off to school. This is a really busy time for all of us drivers, and we definitely feel the pressure of having lots of customers to deliver to lots of locations during peak-hour traffic.
9am: Things start to slow down around now, so it's a good time for a little break. I'll usually park at the airport in the holding area and fill in my logbook, log out of the dispatch system and have a coffee or tea while relaxing and chatting to all of the other drivers from the other companies. We all get on really well together (yes, it's true!) and even though company loyalties exist, most of us consider each other friends.
12pm: The slowest part of the day for taxi companies (bet you wouldn't have guessed that!). No one wants a cab in the middle of the day, so I have a couple of hours to head home, go to the gym, have lunch with some mates or to continue catching up with the other drivers around the city. This is also the best time to do a little tidy up of my car to keep it clean and spotless.
2:30pm: Things are starting to pick up again. International flights carrying business people and tourists are about to land. School is almost over and most of the visiting business people are thinking about heading back to the airport to catch their departing domestic flight.
3:30pm to 6pm: The second peak of the day - there's so much demand for us during this window! Sadly, there's loads of peak traffic too. Because I started at 3:30am this morning, I can only work until 5:30pm, so I'll take my last job and log off by then. Time to head home!
5:30pm to 8pm: Time to catch up with my family and settle in with everyone for the night. I usually keep a pretty early bed time since I get up early, so we usually chat, have dinner together and head off to bed to get some sleep in before tomorrow when I'll do it all again!
A special mention goes out to the hard-working solo mums and dads in our fleet across who do all of this and still make lunches for the kids, drop the kids off to school and pick them up, keep the house clean, prepare all of the meals, do all of the shopping and washing and manage the household in every other way imaginable - we salute you! Being a taxi driver requires dedication, motivation and usually involves long hours away from your family. We're very proud of all of the drivers we have across the country who work really hard every day for their own independence and financial stability!