What do you think is the most misunderstood part of your job?
McDonagh: I think people don’t understand that a lot of the cab drivers are literally living in the car. Some might drive to the airport parking lot and sleep until they can catch the first flight coming in from California. And just the stress of driving in Manhattan traffic for 12 to 15 hours a day, it takes a toll on your personality and your health.
What do you love most about your profession?
McDonagh: This job gives you the opportunity of working what shifts you want and when you want. Particularly, I have raised three kids in Queens, so I was able to take them to school and take time off when they had things at school. That’s definitely one of the greatest benefits of it.
What would you say is the biggest challenge in your profession?
McDonagh: The biggest challenge today has to be the laws and regulations in New York City. Particularly during the day shift, what streets you can turn off on, what streets you can’t. At certain hours, you can go in a certain direction on bridges and tunnels and at certain hours you can’t.
And bike lanes squeeze the city streets even smaller for the taxis and those making truck deliveries. Plus, you have bus lanes, too, which squeezes another lane away from drivers. Now, we’re confined to two or three lanes where we used to have four or five.