The TLC is introducing some newfangled way to share taxi cabs during rush hour. Clearly, we're going to have to come up with some sort of social contract to make these cheap rides bearable. Here is a good start.
This system has riders sharing rides from designated pick-up spots throughout the city between 6 and 10am and lets them get out at any stop along a designated route. Oh, finally a cheap alternative that drives on the streets, allows people to share the same space, and lets you get on and off along a set route. We've never heard of that before!
The shared cabs will pick people up at 57th and Eighth, 72nd and Columbus, and 72nd and Third, and people will pay between $3 and $4 for the ride. We haven't quite decoded how the whole system works, but it can't be that complicated. However, we may have unlocked the more difficult mystery of how to get along with other riders. Here are a few simple tenets, but let us know if we missed any.
No Eating: As your mother and second grade lesbian gym teacher told you, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but you're going to have to get your grub at home or sitting at your desk. Don't even bring it in the cab. Because if you stop for a hot bacon, egg, and cheese before getting in the car, I'm probably going to barf on your lap. Most people trying to take these things with them are going to be hungover messes anyway—up too late the night before to take the subway or walk, or poor after spending all their cash on liquor the night and unable to afford to take a cab of their own. Also, I don't need your muffin crumbs all over my nice work pants, thank you very much. Coffee, however, is completely acceptable.
Be Careful of Your Smells: This is why coffee is acceptable. It is always nice to smell coffee, especially in the morning. It's a great scent and it's never too overpowering. Unlike your B.O. or your cheap Thierry Mugler Angel that you've been spritzing on yourself since the late '90s. The shared ride, especially in the closed quarters of a cab, is all about not trying to invade your fellow travelers' space. That includes your stink. If you're going to share a cab, take the extra five minutes and shower. And if you want to douse yourself in cologne like DJ Paulie Drench before a night out at Karma nightclub, please wait to do that in your office. Those schmos are used to those smell lines that emanate off your body like the squiggles from Pepe Le Pew's tail. We don't want to be bothered.
Be Quiet: It is the first thing in the morning—shut your fucking mouth! We all finally got the cab drivers to stop jibber-jabbering on the their cell phones so we can now enjoy a silent cab ride. Don't you start it by yelling at your assistant, calling your nanny, cooing at your boyfriend, or bitching out your underlings while we're in the car with you. We don't want to hear it! We can barely be bothered to even answer IMs before 12:30, we certainly can not put up with your fat gob spilling forth its nonsense into a cell phone. Texts and email are perfectly acceptable, and silent.
Keep It Light: If you must, really must talk to us, keep it light. Stick to neutral subjects like sports, television, the weather, and how everyone hates Jay Leno. Don't try to get into it with us about work or family or relationships or anything like that. We don't want to hear you rave about this new thing you found out about called ChatRoulette and, God, don't you dare ask us how much we make. We're strangers in a car together. I don't even tell my friends that kind of stuff. And if you ask us a question and get a polite but short reply, that means we're not up to gabbing. Now, shut up and stare out the window.
Someone Has to Ride Bitch: Yes, if there are three people in the back of the car, someone has to ride in the middle. Do the world a favor and volunteer. It brings good taxi karma. Do this for your fellow riders, and you will get an available cab in the most unlikely of situations like in strange neighborhoods in Brooklyn, when it's raining, or heading uptown from the East Village between 2 and 4am on a weekend. Thanks in advance!
Shut off That TV: Everyone knows the first thing you do when the meter starts running is hit the fucking off switch on that goddamned set! Please, if you're closest, it is your solemn duty to do so. No one needs to see Al Roker's fat bobble head carping at them first thing in the morning. It's just unnatural!