This book aims to uncover the hidden human depths beneath the regularly overlooked figure behind the taxicab wheel.

To the taxi drivers, and all those other immigrants, who have enriched our knowledge and our culture and day by day continue to do so…

Discover what the The Ten Commandments of St Fiacre and the 10 Commandments of Road Safety are all about. Discover the lives of taxi drivers: hidden in plain sight, here, there, and everywhere – sometimes, invisible! Learn the history that created taxis, Hackney carriages and all. Consider their urban setting with case studies and interviews from Milton Keynes. And, taxi drivers: who are they, where are they from, how did they get here? Trials, traumas and triumphs. What is ‘The job' what is ‘The Knowledge'. What's new? All this, only on Uber! Earnings… and much more.

This book uncovers the hidden depths below simply urban living and then leads the reader into further inspiring knowledge about the ‘real me' behind the taxi driver. Who would believe that an accurate, meticulous account of a down-to-earth subject like taxi drivers in Milton Keynes would lead into the deeper fathoms of the human soul and of what lies beyond.​ Your view of the familiar streets will be transformed!


Excerpt from The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers © Copyright 2022 Ruth H Finnegan

When, like others, I need a taxi I assume there will be one out there somewhere, available  through the phone, the Internet, outside the station, on the streets – somewhere. No problem, no need to know the background –  one will just be there waiting for me.

Oh, and, I suppose, its driver too. No need to think about that. Just  part of  the necessary equipment. Just a taxi driver.

And then, when, as I’ve described, I got interested, I started noticing how often I saw taxis driving round, part of a line of moving vehicles, or in traffic jams. They seemed to crop up all over the place (except of course, as with buses, just when you wanted one). Since  there are around a thousand licensed taxis in my home town, their visible presence Is scarcely surprising. But they were there not just in Milton Keynes – there are thousands of them in London for example. It was pretty much the same in every town I’ve visited, overseas as well as in England.

Here, there, and everywhere – yes taxis are everywhere, a necessary and expected adjunct, it seems,  of urban life.

In London thousands of black cabs throng the streets (24,000 if them it is said, and  40,000 minicab drivers) and have featured in just about every fictional account set there – how could you describe London without the famous black cabs and their incredibly knowledgeable drivers? Or get around without a taxi in Cambridge or Brighton where there’s just about nowhere  you can  park your  car? In Glasgow or Birmingham or Belfast, whether at airport or train station  or street corner – get a taxi and rely on the driver to know the way to your destination. The same abroad – Auckland, Austin, Milan, Moscow, New York, wherever.

The acquired street knowledge of taxi drivers is famous. So when I or others don’t know how to get to   our destination  and need to be sure of getting there, and  in time – it’s a taxi, what else?

So, they are everywhere.

But – how often do we notice their drivers, that figure behind the wheel?

Here, in this book, I introduce you to the  “real me”, the human,  behind that shadowy outline: the singer-songwriter, artist, gifted jeweller, Islamic scholar and teacher, farmer, town planner, the immigrant who, with no money,  walked (walked) all the way from  Iraq  to London  – and so many more.

“Just” – a taxi driver?

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