Elitist Cab Stand: Model of Economic Salvation, Doom

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If any of you have read Bonfire of the Vanities and come across the part where protagonist Sherman McCoy walks every morning to an Upper East Side taxi stand, you may have had the same reaction that we did. Which was, in effect: "Rich people get to have cabs wait for them while we have to stand around waving like imbeciles for up to 30 minutes for even a scary gypsy cab on Avenue B?" (Substitute Avenue B for the low-rent address where you live, and you get what we mean.) This morning's Times confirms the inequity: There is a cab stand on York Avenue and 79th Street that's been in existence for roughly twenty years, and only serves people who carpool for $6 each down to Wall Street. It's being heralded as the inspiration for the city's new cab-sharing plan that will be implemented in the fall — which itself is billed as a recession-conscious, time-and-money-saving measure. But really, as the Times reveals, the UES cab stand is really just another reminder of how bad things have gotten in this economy:

The cabdrivers who regularly work the stand said they do not mind waiting for passengers, a process that can take more than an hour, if it means $24 in fares to Wall Street. The biggest problem, they say, is that there are fewer Wall Streeters than in the past. “This place used to be packed at 6,” said Mohammed Choudhry, who has been working the corner for 10 years. “Now no one shows up until 7:15.”


Seven-fifteen? It's like these people don't want to wake up, have a bran muffin, and take over the world anymore. What, are they getting a whole five hours of sleep now?

Stand That Blazed Cab-Sharing Path Has Etiquette All Its Own [NYT]