I interviewed my grandfather about his work as a taxi driver. Here is what I learned.
My grandfather told me that he wanted to be a taxi-driver because his father Alphonse had a taxicab when he was young, and my grandfather would help my grandfather to clean and repair the taxi. He told me that he began with just one taxi – number 121 – and everything worked well. You needed a taxi license and it cost ten dollars.
That was a lot of money at that time. Once he was holding two taxis (numbers 121 and 114) and also two licenses! The taxis had lights on the top. They were called domes. There was also lettering on the side of the taxis. My grandfather used three kinds of cars as his taxis – Ford, Dodge and Chrysler. The taxis were for work but they were also used for the family but usually for special events when there wasn’t enough place for everyone in the other cars.
Life as a taxi-driver
I asked him what a day as a taxi-driver was like and he told me he needed to start very early and that it was ten to fifteen hours of work per day. His territory was Brossard in the beginning and then St.Hubert. He would park his taxi at the Wal-mart. He needed a lot of patience when waiting for the clients. It was very rare that he needed patience for the clients because most clients were polite.
My grandfather helped to start Astro and to think up its name. He wanted a name that started with the letter A because in the phone book people would easily find the name and then call up. In the year the name was invented astronauts were really in the news. Astro taxi was started in 1972. Also, when my grand-father was driving by a school he saw a big truck with the words Pneus Astro. This is why he gave the word to the thirteen other people he was trying to build the company with.
Taxi-cab badge, Taxi-driver Identification badge, Taxi-driver license