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Oldest cabbie in NYC, 92, still driving


UPI News Service, 04/01/2012 

New York City's oldest cab driver, 92-year-old Johnnie "Spider" Footman, says he has no plans to retire and his current license doesn't expire until 2014.

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Footman, who has been driving cabs since 1945, is a legend among the city's cab drivers, Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky told the New York Post.

"The history he's seen from behind the wheel of a New York City cab is the equal of any great archive," he said.

Footman spends two days a week driving a taxicab and another two days listening to tax engines for signs of trouble at 55 Stan taxi company in Long Island City, Queens.

"I'm more comfortable with him than a lot of other drivers," said depot co-owner Jerry Nazari. "He has a good, calm personality, good knowledge of the city, and he enjoys what he does."

Footman said when he first started, his base fare cost 20 cents and his passengers liked to get frisky in the back seat.

"They had sex in the back in the '50s, '60s and '70s," he told the Post. "The cabs were a lot bigger then."

And despite this, he said, the "customers were good early on," in his taxi-driving years.

"Now, the cabdriver is like a tool, a wrench. You use it when you feel like it, and then you throw it back in the box when you get tired of it," he said.


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