Transporting A String Bass In The City - Taxi A Practical Consideration?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by rickstrong, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. rickstrong

    rickstrong Bassist, Code Monkey, Bon Vivant... Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New York City
    Greetings All,

    I live in New York City, fairly close to the subway, so moving my string bass to the gig or the shop is fairly easy right now. I will soon be moving to another place in the city, a different neighborhood not close enough to the train to make the walk worthwhile. (Less convenient but a very nice and affordable place.) There are plenty of buses, but they don't seem to allow string basses on them. So basically I'll need to either drive or take a cab. I have a car but parking on either end can end up being rather scarce and expensive due to the timing.

    I remember back in the Pleistocene when all the cabs here were Checkers, and it was never a problem fitting a bass into the back seat next to me. Now, though, cabs are generally smaller. It is usually possible to fit the bass in a car by putting down the passenger seat and loading the bass so that the body is in that seat and the neck is close to the rear window. I used to do this myself when I owned an ancient FIAT(!).

    OK - my actual question: has anyone here had any experience moving their basses with Uber, Lyft, Via, or any other taxi services? Is this a practical option? My fear would be that some cars and drivers would be fine with the required reconfiguration, while others might refuse (and I'd be late or miss the gig). Thanks for any ideas/suggestions/tales!

    Rick Strong
  2. Why are you bothering with apps and car services when you have the subway that goes everywhere?

    Granted, it’s not what it should be, but it exists.

    Some years ago, my daughter and I went to Brooklyn to bring a flight case home. We took the train both ways. We got stared at, and she rode the trunk into Grand Central like a pony. It was great.

    If you don’t inspire horror in your fellow commuters, you’re not getting the full New York experience.
    J_Bass and PillO like this.
  3. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    In Inwood, I call a car service and request an SUV or van; Fare +$15 premium.
    KUNGfuSHERIFF and rickstrong like this.
  4. rickstrong

    rickstrong Bassist, Code Monkey, Bon Vivant... Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New York City
    Heh. I do that now, my soon-to-be-ex-quarters are right on the A train - the problem is that I'm moving to a hood where I have easy access to 3 buses but the A and the 1 trains are just too far away, as in 1 - 3 miles.
  5. rickstrong

    rickstrong Bassist, Code Monkey, Bon Vivant... Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New York City
    Thanks! That makes a lot of sense. RE neighborhood, this will be Riverdale. At that rate it might be worth getting rid of the car :)

    - Rick
  6. Parking in NYC is less of an issue at gig time. I drive down from Boston and it is usually not much of a hassle. A car share thing might be worth it. A lot of the NY musicians I know drive and it is fine.
  7. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    I lived in Boston for a few years and i would always just call a normal lyft/ uber and just lay down the front seat and put the bass in the front seat with the scroll on the back seat head rest. Sometimes you end up getting a bigger car and thats great but most of the time you don't need to spend the extra $$ and I would say maybe 80% of drivers just go with it and a few will complain until you show them you know what you are doing.
    rickstrong likes this.
  8. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    Man, you didn't read his post. He's moving to a new place far from the train.
  9. rickstrong

    rickstrong Bassist, Code Monkey, Bon Vivant... Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New York City
    Well, it really depends on the timing and the location. Sometimes there are short-term street spots available downtown, and sometimes you need to use a rather pricey lot. Coming back after work, my current neighborhood is almost always locked up tight - over the last few years they've added a lot more people and cars and actually reduced parking spaces. So it would be a parking lot for the evening back home as well. At that rate one is lucky to break even on the night :)
  10. A basic uber or cab to the subway is one answer, a bass buggy is another. I've taken my bass on lots of buses, so that is probably OK if it is not a rush hour. The weird parking after the gig is one reason why I often just shoot straight back to Boston after NY gigs - that has historically been more difficult than the gigs.
    lurk likes this.
  11. rickstrong

    rickstrong Bassist, Code Monkey, Bon Vivant... Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New York City
    I actually have a Double Trolley, so maybe this would be the situation to really give it a workout. I'm pleasantly surprised to hear that you've been able to get on buses; I've heard a few sad stories of colleagues stuck out on the street late at night with bus drivers refusing to let them got on. It may be worth an experiment!

    Quincy must be better for parking than downtown Boston. I lived in the South End when I was at Berklee and afterward, and I remember some LONG nights looking for spaces there after work.
  12. NYC is better for parking than Boston!
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