Taxi driver Germán, will clean the windshields, or whatever it takes
Taxi drivers like Don Germán have been without income for more than a hundred days due to a lack of passengers, which has affected their families' economy
- MARILUZ ROLDÁN
- 21:05 hrs
Taxi drivers have a reputation for being psychologists because they listen to many people's stories. Still, sometimes they also need to vent with someone. Such is Germán Ramírez, 64, who is concerned about his present and his future since the covid-19 pandemic has hit his economy hard, to the degree that he does not know what the next will live on year.
The face mask covers half of his face, but his eyes show his concern through the rearview mirror as he talks. He explains that since the pandemic began his income has dramatically been reduced, he can only manage to pay his boss the monthly fee and fill up the taxi with gas.
"Before, I had to give my employer 300 pesos, but with this situation, the work went down a lot, I spoke with him and told him I would not be able to nake it. He dropped it to 150 pesos, I was able to gather the money it in two weeks, but then I couldn't it either, now I only give him 100 pesos and the rest of the profits go to gasoline, the truth is that I hardly take anything," he says with anguish. Authorities of the federal government and Mexico City have carried out the taxis census to grant credits of 35 thousand pesos, as part of the economic relief for the covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The taxi drivers commented that they had spent more than a hundred days without generating income due to a lack of passengers, which has affected their families' economy. As of 2019, 102 thousand taxis circulating on the capital streets have been registered, of which only 54 thousand 104 have been registered with the Secretary of Mobility (Semovi). Germán explains that in September, he will turn 65. In February, he managed to update the address on his voter card, because he planned to request the financial support that the government grants to older adults, but at the moment it is not an option.
I went to ask for information, and they told me that they still can't give it to me, I have to wait until I am 68 (years old), so changing my credentials didn't help me. I was hoping I would receive it since it would have helped me out a little
These last months have been difficult for Germán. His main concern is what will he do next year because, by the end of 2020, his card expires, and he is not sure he will be able to raise the money to renew it.
I will have to give up the taxi
As the cab moves on the Inner Circuit, Germán comments that he does not think he will have enough money to renew his card. "The way things are, I hardly have anything left to eat, I can't save or spend on anything else. "The safest thing is to leave the taxi, I have not told my employer, but I am already thinking about what else can I do to sustain myself," he says calmly, but with nostalgia and a particular fear in his eyes. He belongs to a taxi group outside a supermarket, the first thing he thought is working as a packer in this store, but was told that he could not be hired because he is not retired.
"I said to the manager I spoke with: don't you think someone who is retired needs more work? He replied that they are company policies. Of course, that's how they save having to give me Social Security," points out. Discarding this option, Germán is also thinking of working outside helping people load their bags, although he says he could also sell sweets or even clean windshields. "I need to think, I hope things will improve. I am worried about being left with nothing. I will have to survive on something. Maybe even carrying bags I can get more than here in the taxi, I don't know," says Germán.Traducción: Valentina K. Yanes