Only in NYC, where people pass each other on a daily basis and never say hi or at the very least give a smile of recognition, do you have this odd phenomenon occurring in the Shared Taxi. Most people who live in NYC have an urge for fame, recognition, wanting to hit it big – but yet Anonymity is KEY to most Manhattanites.
Every morning, Monday – Friday, I climb into a cab with 3-4 other Manhattanites to share a quick ride from the UES to the Financial District so we can shuffle off to our Big Firm/Financial Jobs. Each of us hands the driver $6 and states which street we need to be dropped off on. If you are in a minivan, you may actually (god forbid) interact with the other passengers because you may have to pass the money forward to the driver from the people in the back seat.
Every single morning, I sit in close proximity with these people. None of us exchange words or even glances for that matter. Everyone is occupied with something VERY important to them – their iPod jamming out (which occasionally a person will have their music way too loud causing the rest of the passengers snarl), their blackberries clicking away every important emails, their iPhones playing with a favorite app, or a passengers news paper of choice (usually the WSJ).
I have been in these shared taxis with young kids barely fresh out of college to old refined gentlemen. I find each mornings trip different and interesting from the previous. As far as I know, I have never ridden with the same person more than once… but then again would I ever really know.. I don’t take notice of them anymore than they take notice of me.