Kelly Dessaint

“Looking around at all the chill vibes, though, I can’t help but wonder, do people just not read the news anymore?” (Courtesy photo)

I Drive SF: The virus and the damage done

Just when you think it’s safe to go outside again, you wake up with a tickle in the back of your throat, or a stuffy nose

“Looking around at all the chill vibes, though, I can’t help but wonder, do people just not read the news anymore?” (Courtesy photo)
For the first few days after messaging my landlady, I was hesitant to check my email, afraid of what her response would be. (Courtesy photo)

I Drive SF: Life goes on despite the pandemic

I’m officially a deadbeat. Now that I haven’t paid rent in two months.

For the first few days after messaging my landlady, I was hesitant to check my email, afraid of what her response would be. (Courtesy photo)
While Trader Joe’s is organized, with limits on how much you can buy, Safeway is complete chaos. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

I Drive SF: How I became a self loathing pandemic hoarder

Standing in line outside Trader Joe’s with 50 other people, I begin to question my resolve.

While Trader Joe’s is organized, with limits on how much you can buy, Safeway is complete chaos. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
With few options for spending time outdoors staying indoors with a three-year-old is the daily routine during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy photo)

I Drive SF: The luxury of being bored

It goes without saying that the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions: fear, isolation and the uncertainty of when/if things will ever be normal again

With few options for spending time outdoors staying indoors with a three-year-old is the daily routine during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy photo)
Cab drivers still on the streets of San Francisco are calling the situation “dire.”(Courtesy photo )

Can taxis survive the COVID-19 pandemic?

It’s the end of the taxi industry as we’ve known it and, honestly, I don’t know what to feel anymore.

Cab drivers still on the streets of San Francisco are calling the situation “dire.”(Courtesy photo )
I can tell right away things aren’t what they seem…

I can tell right away things aren’t what they seem…

I Drive SF: Two strangers in the backseat

I can tell right away things aren’t what they seem…
“Wow, I can’t believe I’m in a real taxi,” the girl in my backseat slurs, her words as boozey as her breath. “I didn’t think taxis even existed anymore.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

I Drive SF: Bizarre love triangle

“Getting a cab is just so…” her voice trails off.

“Wow, I can’t believe I’m in a real taxi,” the girl in my backseat slurs, her words as boozey as her breath. “I didn’t think taxis even existed anymore.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
This just isn’t a good time for air travel. Besides the usual slow down in business during winter, the coronavirus outbreak can’t be very encouraging for air travelers. (Courtesy photo)

I Drive SF: Death by Airport

As much as I try to resist the urge, playing the airport is addictive.

This just isn’t a good time for air travel. Besides the usual slow down in business during winter, the coronavirus outbreak can’t be very encouraging for air travelers. (Courtesy photo)
Idling in gridlock, it’s difficult to resist your parental instincts when your passenger is a young, new visitor trying to find her way in The City. (Courtesy photo)

I Drive SF: Advice to a young newcomer to San Francisco

She gives me an address on Turk Street. I ask her to repeat. There are no hotels or apartment buildings

Idling in gridlock, it’s difficult to resist your parental instincts when your passenger is a young, new visitor trying to find her way in The City. (Courtesy photo)
“After hearing his story, I ask if he’s tried any outreach services.” (Courtesy photo)

I Drive SF: As far as $53 will take me

I sensed right away that he was on the skids.

“After hearing his story, I ask if he’s tried any outreach services.” (Courtesy photo)
In the age of Google Maps, Waze, et al., there aren’t many secret ways to get around The City anymore. (Courtesy)

When Google Maps suggests a route, I know that’s the one to avoid

I Drive SF: Practicing the lost art of getting around

In the age of Google Maps, Waze, et al., there aren’t many secret ways to get around The City anymore. (Courtesy)
Sometimes getting out of The City is just as hard as getting in. (Courtesy photo)

I Drive SF: A long day’s journey into the night

When I don’t have the cab, getting home to Oakland at night can be a long, arduous journey.

Sometimes getting out of The City is just as hard as getting in. (Courtesy photo)
The Dreamforce convention in San Francisco, and the airport fares it brought, ended as quickly as it started. (Courtesy photo)

I Drive SF: From a nightmare to a dream

The Dreamforce convention ended on Friday and most of the drivers are hoping some of the 170,000 attendees haven’t left already

The Dreamforce convention in San Francisco, and the airport fares it brought, ended as quickly as it started. (Courtesy photo)
The reclassification of gig workers under AB 5 also extends to freelancers, which spells changes to The Examiner’s weekly taxi column. (Courtesy photo)

A working class hero ain’t nothing to be

Thanks to AB 5, this column will no longer be weekly.

The reclassification of gig workers under AB 5 also extends to freelancers, which spells changes to The Examiner’s weekly taxi column. (Courtesy photo)
If you’ve been driving a taxi long enough, you do know those unprofitable shifts are only a small taste of what’s to come.                                 Courtesy photo

I Drive SF: Winter is coming

Some days it seems like winter is already here.

If you’ve been driving a taxi long enough, you do know those unprofitable shifts are only a small taste of what’s to come.                                 Courtesy photo
To a certain type of visitor, California can seem like a utopia. (Courtesy photo)

The high cost of living in California isn’t just financial

The image of laidback Californians is spurious at best.

To a certain type of visitor, California can seem like a utopia. (Courtesy photo)
If there’s anything that creates more of a Pavlovian response for taxi drivers than seeing suitcases, it’s that distinct peal of a whistle reverberating off buildings.                                 Courtesy photo

I Drive SF: When time is not on your side

It’s difficult to figure out how to get back on track once your timing is off. Do you speed up? Slow down? Take a detour?

If there’s anything that creates more of a Pavlovian response for taxi drivers than seeing suitcases, it’s that distinct peal of a whistle reverberating off buildings.                                 Courtesy photo
“I used to think nothing was more awkward than pulling up to someone standing on the curb with their arm in the air, only to realize they aren’t actually looking for a taxi.” (Courtesy photo)

Avoiding rejection at the casual carpool

The humiliation of feeling wanted one second and then rejected the next seemed to be the epitome of embarrassment.

“I used to think nothing was more awkward than pulling up to someone standing on the curb with their arm in the air, only to realize they aren’t actually looking for a taxi.” (Courtesy photo)
Four people were killed in a wrong-way crash on northbound U.S. Highway 101 in San Francisco earlier this month. (Courtesy CHP)

I Drive SF: A loss in the taxi community

Over the following days, a pall has hung over the holding lot at SFO where drivers congregate between rides.

Four people were killed in a wrong-way crash on northbound U.S. Highway 101 in San Francisco earlier this month. (Courtesy CHP)
The tipping game is all fine and dandy until a passenger stiffs you. (Courtesy photo)

I Drive SF: Playing the tipping game

When you deal with lots of cash, someone always wants a piece of the action.

The tipping game is all fine and dandy until a passenger stiffs you. (Courtesy photo)