Kelly Dessaint

(Courtsesy photo)

Driving an early morning shift

Despite the allure of a San Francisco morning, this isn’t how I expected to begin my day.

(Courtsesy photo)
Some weeks are crazier than others when you are a taxi driver. (Courtesy photo)

A chaotic week of cab driving

Despite feeling out of synch most of the week, there was also a weird synchronicity at play.

Some weeks are crazier than others when you are a taxi driver. (Courtesy photo)
A view of the Golden State Warriors’ new Chase Center arena from the “Thrive City” plaza along Third Street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Chase carmageddon avoided, but what about SFO?

Down at SFO, they were closing one of the three runways for 20 days to make repairs.

A view of the Golden State Warriors’ new Chase Center arena from the “Thrive City” plaza along Third Street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Ok, so maybe confusing the Bay Bridge with the Golden Gate Bridge is forgivable — at least at night. (Courtesy photo)

Tourists arrive in “San Fran” with some foggy notions

Some people come to the The City with more preconceived ideas than changes of clothes.

Ok, so maybe confusing the Bay Bridge with the Golden Gate Bridge is forgivable — at least at night. (Courtesy photo)
You never know when you are going to need a taxi. (Courtesy photo)

Don’t blame today’s taxi drivers for the past

Back in the day, cab drivers were rude, refused to take people to the Avenues, and rarely showed up on time.

You never know when you are going to need a taxi. (Courtesy photo)
The latest rumor among taxi drivers is that the 50 percent rate increase they are allowed to charge for long distances is about to disappear. (Courtesy photo)

I Drive SF: Revisiting long-distance taxi rates

Naturally, many taxi customers balk at the prospect of paying more than the normal rate.

The latest rumor among taxi drivers is that the 50 percent rate increase they are allowed to charge for long distances is about to disappear. (Courtesy photo)
On a weekend packed with events, flags are practically on every corner. (Courtesy photo)

In traffic we become something bigger

Everything hit at once last weekend. Besides Outside Lands, the Giants were…

On a weekend packed with events, flags are practically on every corner. (Courtesy photo)
The traffic problems caused by ride-hailing services goes beyond the number of vehicles they flooded the streets with. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

The real impact of Uber and Lyft on traffic

You don’t need an independent transportation firm to know that Uber and Lyft are mucking up traffic.

The traffic problems caused by ride-hailing services goes beyond the number of vehicles they flooded the streets with. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Getting too many short rides is one of the risks of working SFO as a taxi driver. (Courtesy photo)

Working SFO: The long and short of it

Getting a long, profitable ride is such an anomaly, expecting more than straight meter and a tip seems kind of predatory.

Getting too many short rides is one of the risks of working SFO as a taxi driver. (Courtesy photo)
Airport fares sometimes include trips farther afield like to Half Moon Bay. (Courtesy photo)

When it’s time for a change in the game

I used to loathe the idea of waiting almost two hours or more for a fare, but over the past few weeks, the SFO holding lots have become a sanctuary from the madness.

Airport fares sometimes include trips farther afield like to Half Moon Bay. (Courtesy photo)
For taxi drivers, traffic transcends a mere occupational annoyance. It rises to the level of an existential grievance. (Courtesy photo)

Escaping traffic woes at SFO

In San Francisco, it’s always open season on taxicabs.

For taxi drivers, traffic transcends a mere occupational annoyance. It rises to the level of an existential grievance. (Courtesy photo)
Fourth of July on the waterfront is really no place to see fireworks in The City on Independence Day. (Courtesy photo)

Banging my head against a taxi shift

There was something in the air last week, and not just the glow of fireworks pulsating through the dense fog

Fourth of July on the waterfront is really no place to see fireworks in The City on Independence Day. (Courtesy photo)
SF Pride participants range from party people to older folks who feel jaded. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)

What’s Pride got to do with it?

‘Does that make me jaded?’ asks the guy in the back of my taxi

SF Pride participants range from party people to older folks who feel jaded. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)
In the modern world, where religion is an anachronism, a dimly lit vehicle is the new confessional. (Courtesy photo)

Confessions from the back seat of a taxi

I’m rolling steady. One ride after another.

In the modern world, where religion is an anachronism, a dimly lit vehicle is the new confessional. (Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

The angst of the taximeter

The Central Freeway is like a noose.

(Courtesy photo)
It’s yet to be determined how well the newly designated pickup zones at SFO will fare for taxi drivers. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Playing the airport taxi game

I’ve never been much of an airport player. I prefer to work The City.

It’s yet to be determined how well the newly designated pickup zones at SFO will fare for taxi drivers. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris speaks at the General Session on day 2 of the 2019 California State Democratic Party Convention at Moscone Center on Saturday, June 1, 2019 in San Francisco., Calif. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Sometimes it’s hard to be a liberal taxi driver

While waiting for the light to change at Fourth and Mission with a fare going to Davies Symphony Hall, a horde of Democrats crosses the street in front of my cab.

Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris speaks at the General Session on day 2 of the 2019 California State Democratic Party Convention at Moscone Center on Saturday, June 1, 2019 in San Francisco., Calif. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times/TNS)
While waiting for the light to turn on Powell, the elderly man in back says, “And for all you tourists, on the right here we have the Arc de Triomphe.” (Courtesy photo)

There’s always something to say about San Francisco

Venturing into Fisherman’s Wharf while the sun’s still out is a fool’s errand.

While waiting for the light to turn on Powell, the elderly man in back says, “And for all you tourists, on the right here we have the Arc de Triomphe.” (Courtesy photo)
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When even the Warriors don’t cheer people up

Despite not wanting to set a bad example for my two-year-old by staring at a phone all day on the couch.

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Arnoldo Contreras holds a sign during the Uber and Lyft driver protest in front Uber headquarters on Market Street on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Just another Wednesday night in San Francisco

Given the opportunity for a do over, I never would have worked last Wednesday.

Arnoldo Contreras holds a sign during the Uber and Lyft driver protest in front Uber headquarters on Market Street on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (Ellie Doyen/Special to S.F. Examiner)