Taxi driving in a lower population-density area
March 20, 2013 4:03 PM   Subscribe

I'm contemplating becoming a taxi driver, but the region I live in, East Tennessee, has its population of ~500,000 people spread out over 11 counties. Can anyone tell me about the pros and cons as a taxi driver outside of major metropolitan areas?

I'm already fairly familiar with the business side of taxi driving (my dad drove a taxi in St. Louis in his spare time after he retired), but all accounts I could find online about taxi driving are from people in major metropolitan areas. Can anyone give me an account of how driving in a lower population-density area would affect income? work load/hours? What type of pay structure would be better for me in this type of area?
posted by Groundhog Week to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Have you ever taken a taxi in East Tennessee before? How long did it take for them to pick you up?
posted by oceanjesse at 7:45 PM on March 20, 2013

There is a taxi driver in Burlington Vermont which is about 1/5 the population of where you're looking at. He writes a column for the local weekly that is actually pretty interesting and very well-written. I have only rarely taken a taxi out where I live (significantly more rural) and usually they are doing things like connecting people to other transportation "Drive from home to to train" "Drive form home to airport" and a lot of those trips are flat fee situations. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
posted by jessamyn at 8:53 PM on March 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Lots of driving elderly and disabled people around to doctor's appointments during the day, often on the government's dime.
posted by smackfu at 5:15 AM on March 21, 2013

The only time I've taken a taxi in the Tri-Cities is from the airport to home, but I have a car. I do see taxis at the Krogers in Johnson City on north Roan- I think they're usually transporting people to and from the local retirement home.

The people who work at the taxi service at the airport seem pretty nice- I'm sure they'd be happy to answer specific questions about our area.
posted by Mouse Army at 3:08 PM on March 21, 2013

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