Spill it: Terry Nickerson, taxi driver

Friday, March 28, 2008 | 3:00 p.m. CDT; updated 3:00 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Terry “Taxi Terry” Nickerson Sr., 42, has been a taxi driver for A-1 Taxi in Columbia for eight years.

The first 7 and a half years, he worked part time and weekends. For the last six months, he’s been full time.

From 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Tuesday through Saturday, Nickerson delivers 18 to 25 customers to their destinations.

How did you get the nickname “Taxi Terry”?

About four years ago, I started picking up Shiloh’s manager, J Rod, and he named me “Taxi Terry.” It just grew from there.

What’s your motto?

What happens in the cab stays in the cab. My customers are precious cargo, and their ride is priceless.

What do you say when someone asks how much his or her ride is going to cost?

Do they want the short answer or the long answer? Usually they say short, and I tell them it is going to be cheaper than a DWI.

Some topics of conversation?

People talk about everything in the cab. I know a lot of secrets, too, but I will take them to my grave.

The best tip you’ve ever received?

$100. It happens often. A lot of people are very good to me.

I think you should earn your tip. A driver should be courteous and kind, safe, and get you there in a timely manner.

What is your role as a taxi driver?

The taxi driver should build a relationship with people. Then customers know they can depend on you, the taxi driver who saves lives.

What is the worst thing someone could do in your taxi?

Rob me. Jump out and not pay. Puke.

Your biggest pet peeve?

Everyone wants to leave the bars at the same time. I can take three or four home, but not everyone. I recommend leaving the bar earlier or getting something to eat, then calling for a taxi.