Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Red Light, Green Light

Within each driver is the desire to see a green light and a clear intersection. During one night shift I had the blessing to see an unbroken string of them, for 30 kilometres. To give you a bit of geography, to leave the city of Victoria BC by plane or ferry, you have one 1 direction you can go, and that is North, up the number 17 highway. This highway begins right down town and extents all the way up the Sannich  Peninsula. There are about 15 light controlled intersections along the 40 km length of it and this particular stretch of road is a favourite for the local law enforcement to get their daily quota of speeders.

It was about 8:25pm one Wednesday evening when I was trolling the streets down town, waiting to be dispatched or to have someone flag me down. There at the corner, arms waving frantically, were two young adults with back packs. I pulled up to the curb and they piled in and said "Ferry, please. Can you get us there in time?"

Two thoughts immediately came to mind. $60 and Damn, it will be right close.

Okay folks, buckle up and lets do this. I clicked the meter on and away we went. 2 minutes later we were on the right road, pointed the right direction and faced with those 15 lights and the police. I crossed my fingers, said a brief prayer to the Gods of taxi drivers and went for it.

Every light went green, I didn't stop once for a light, someone being stupid in front of me or a cop. As we closed in to the ferry terminal, one of my passengers sais they needed to pay by credit card. No problem, I reached for the terminal and handed it back to them. I told them the meter would read $60 when we got there and I talked them through processing the payment.

At 8:50 pm, I pulled up to the terminal, and saw that they were still selling tickets. They jumped out of the cab, handed me the credit card payment ($70), they both kissed me and ran to the ticket counter. As there were no other cabs or busses left there, I decided to hang around just in case they weren't allowed to by a ticket. I watched as they got to the counter, paid for a ticket, run through the gate an onto the ferry.

Good trip, got them where they wanted to be and got a pretty penny for it. Not a bad way spend the middle of a shift. Of course, there was a price to pay for it.

Every light I hit for the rest of the night was red.

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