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To RANK or not to rank? Cabbies share their preferences

For a taxi driver, there’s really three options on how you decide to work your shift; either wait on a taxi rank, drive around seeking out a fare, or working with booked fares. Whilst all three options can be included on a day-to-day basis, many tend to divert to one in particular.

As a driver of 12 years, I myself have always tended to go in search of fares. This is mainly because I find myself getting bored sitting on ranks and can even find myself becoming quite anxious when it’s finally my turn to pick up a fare, wondering whether it will be a decent one or if I have just sat there for all that time for a “sorry driver I know it’s not far but can you take me to..” type fare.

For some, sitting on a rank is the perfect option. The main benefit being fuel savings. While I’m driving around without a fare, chugging all my fuel away, Mr Ranker is reading a book saving their fuel for a rainy day.

Some drivers use booking operators to access jobs throughout the day, especially in the mornings for things like school runs. This kind of work offers the luxury of knowing you have jobs pretty much guaranteed at certain times of the day. The downside being that you need to be good at planning your shift properly to cover the work and also you run the risk of waiting between jobs when there’s plenty of work on the ranks or on the streets.

TaxiPoint put the question out to some of its readers, asking which option was their preference.

A large percentage of drivers said they try to avoid ranks at all costs unless there is zero work on the streets or nothing via bookings.

One driver said he works 99% with pre-booked jobs, saying he would rather sit at home than sit for hours on a rank for a poor job.

A few drivers said working school contracts is their preference as that way they are guaranteed work. Others, those who do favour rank work, stressed that they only focus on the big busy stations, that way, for the majority of the year, they can expect to pick up a fare within a reasonable amount of time.

And of course, some said they try to mix it up. Cover the work as and where their day takes them; the nomads, let’s call them. The free thinkers who function best when they just go with the flow.

Whatever option you choose, it’s all about getting through your shift with as little stress as possible. Cab driving normally finds a way of stressing you out, whether its traffic, rude passengers, or no passengers at all, working your shift and how you prefer to, is in the eye of the beholder.


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