Here's a question posted by a Taxi TownSF reader with Taxi TownSF's response to his question. The question was originally posted anonymously on "Ask A Cab Driver".
Question from reader: I drove a cab part time in 2006 between 6pm and 4 am about 3 days a week.
I worked as security guard as well.
I made about $7 an hour the way I calculated it after paying for gas and the cab company. I was working as a guard back then as well and was making $14 an hour so I finally ended up leaving the cab driving to take on more hours in security.
Now I am thinking about driving a cab in the day time. I wondering if I will make more money in the day than at night. I could live with $12 an hour and maybe even $10 an hour, but I can't live with $7 an hour.
A friend of mine drives a cab and he seems to be making almost $20. I had a few days like that in the biz, but not many.
I'm just wondering if I should jump back in - I have a cab company that says I don't have to put a deposit down for a car - that is either good or the cab company owner is desparate for drivers.
Whats your guys take on that?
There's been a meter increase since you drove in 2006 so cab drivers are making higher incomes. But the cost of gas has also gone up quite a bit since then, and rents for housing are higher too.
As with a lot of things that involves hustling, cab drivers who are more savvy can make more money than drivers who aren't. I think physical health plays a part too.
Day driving involves more traffic but less rowdy or inebriated passengers... hardly any vomiting in cabs, if any. And possibly less crime. So if you can handle the traffic, you should be able to make some okay money on day shifts.
For example, day drivers on a Monday day shift, in my opinion, can earn as much as night drivers on a Monday night shift.
But no shift can compare to the money that can be made on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. That's mainly why nights are considered more profitable. Also, a lot people may find it contrary to their lifestyle to wake up early enough for day shifts.
I've driven both day and night and enjoy both. But I've stuck with the day shift because on nights, I've always had the experience of having to wait a long time to get a cab on night shifts. It was routine to have to wait anywhere from 30 minutes to as long as 3 HOURS for the cab company to give me a cab on night shifts. Even on Sunday nights. And that was on shifts when I WAS ASSIGNED to that shift.
It's easier to get a cab right away in the mornings so that was the deciding factor for me. I've been able to adapt to the early bird lifestyle, albeit it's not always easy. If the company you're talking to can get you out in a cab right away, whether it's a day or night shift, then obviously you won't have to factor that in.