Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Where Have All The Arabs Gone?

Apologies for the lack of posting recently but I think the Twittering is getting the best of my material. Having said that, I am Twittering less by the day. I do find it interesting to receive Tweets from all the people I “follow” on there and it is more up close and personal than reading someone’s blog but I will endeavour to return here from time to time to update what I’m sure is one of the longest running, if not the first, blog about the London Licensed Taxi Trade.

Without harping on too much about Twitter I have found that I now work slightly differently. I read the Tweets as they arrive and get a feel for the areas where there is work, or more recently, a lack of it. August is traditionally a bad month and it’s very noticeable. It’s also Ramadan at the moment an the distinct lack of the Edgware Road Arabs has been felt by all of us. You don’t realize how often they take cabs in and around the Edgware Road area going hither and thither and I for one will be glad when things get back to normal which, if I’ve read it right on Wikipedia, should be from the 20th of September.

I’ve also been doing my bit to reclaim the work that has been stolen by the minicabs. The nightclub Tiger Tiger in Haymarket is where I’ve been returning to when in the area and there has been some very nice work coming out of there. Last week I picked up a couple who refused to use a miniscab that had blatantly tried to tout them in front of me and I took them down to Colliers Wood. I think the guy thought he was on a promise but his bird had other ideas so I ended up taking him all the way to Canary Wharf for a total fare of £80. Just think, the miniscabs have been nicking this work for years and charging even more than that!!

I’ve had two roaders in the past week. One was from Edgware Road all the way to Englefield Green in Surrey. He was eating something all the way there which smelt revolting but I wasn’t going to upset him by telling him to wait until he got home so I grinned and bared it and got £80 for my trouble. The other one was last night. A bit shorter but nice all the same. Lowndes Street out to Shepperton, right next door to the film studios. A lively old bird who was chatting on her phone for most of the journey but still had her eye on the road as I almost took a wrong turning causing her to call out to me. Fare: £60.

Last Thursday I had the Radio Taxis equipment stripped out of the cab for the fourth time in my cab-driving career. I think it was a combination of me not doing it justice and there also not being sufficient work out there to justify paying them forty quid a week. I’ll miss the credit card facility but I will eventually sign up to one of these companies and get a chip & pin machine to be able to continue doing the credit card work. Anyone suggest a good company that isn’t too expensive??

My mate Chris AKA TitanicCabby is now back driving his Mercedes Vito. He’s been using his brother’s cab for a couple of weeks whilst his was being repaired after a front and rear end shunt in Staples Corner. He’s still experiencing a few problems with the electric doors but I think all that needs doing is waiting a few extra seconds once the parking brake has been applied.

So we’re now into September, the kids are back at school and now hopefully there’ll be plenty of work to see us up to Christmas. I won’t hold my breath though!!

Take care out there.



cannwin said...

Two questions:

1) How does Ramadan affect them taking cabs? I thought that it was just a don't eat during the day thing... clearly I'm missing part of the whole celebration.

2) TitanicCabbie sounds ominous, not to be rude to your dear friend but I myself would be snickering if I hopped in the back seat. Didn't the Titanic sink or something?

James said...

Half of my 5-a-side team is Muslim, so when this period of the year comes around well call it RamaDAMN!

Anonymous said...

Ramadam in August is going to be a nightmare for us cabby's for the next few years....The Arabs came this year ( and they keep us ticking over in August)They all went by about the 18th to be home with their family's and the bottom as I knew it would dropped out of the trade...we need Arabs for August!

Wait till rammadam stars next year on the 10th of august...may as well work very hard up to it then fck off !!

http://www.paycabs.com/ credit card machine..the best.

Chris Ex Cabby said...

I always thought that the Arabs spent Summer in London because it was so hot in the Middle East. They came over here then because it's a bit cooler and they can have a spend in Harrod's. That it's Ramadan was coincidental, after all, Ramadan can be at any time of the year.

Having said that I can remember at Eid al-Fitr (when they celebrate the end of Ramadan) that the queue to get onto the Edgware Road started half way down Park Lane!

Terry said...


I went with the Cab Card people who advertise in 'TAXI' and most other mags.
In the 9 months I've been with them, I've had no problems, the money goes in every Friday.

They all cost you in some way, Cab Card is about £3 a week rental, but you get 1% commission on every transaction, so in theory it could cost you nothing if you got 100% credit card rides, but that ain't going to happen.
It costs the punter 10% of the fare to pay by card, most don't seem to bother.

Be lucky.


Mo said...

Bit of rain might help with the fares. looks like plenty of that coming up.

Thomas the Taxi said...

I love twitter now and feel lost without it.
I also have no radio in the cab and the other day when twitter went twits up I was gutted and couldn't wait for it to come back up.
I get a lot of stick from mates when I mention twitter but it has been a a great help in the general fight back to regain our work.

Anonymous said...

Still alive LC??????

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karl said...

i just cant get into twitter, im stuck in the past, help!

Big Blinding Blogger said...

Hi LC,

Although work is tough and radio work non existant life goes on. I have 37 years on the street both as a Mini Cab and now my Green Badge. I am the dazzling campaigner and hoping to get your vote on my lights issue and anyone who has been on your site. That is if you agree with me that lighting is out of hand and being dazzled at night has become normal.

You do not need Arabs but adjust to each set of circumstances. When no work is about and Taxi hire lights are shining everywhere look only at the Taxis with passengers in and use your hunting skills and go find a punter as they are there. Do not set your sights too high and you wont be dissappointed. Never turn jobs down if the people look OK even if they go to an area you dont like. It will not take you too long to drive back into your comfort zone.

I hate it when there is so much work you dont have too look for it as I enjoy the hunt when work is hard to find and drivers are moaning. Hunt the punter like your life depended on it and you will not get bored but be busy trying and successful.

big blinding blogger

and remember be lucky

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zal123 said...

I think arabs give more tips than others taxiarab.com