BEING a Glasgow Taxi driver – whether day shift or night shift – brings with it a great deal of routine.

From the times you start and finish, ranks you go to, petrol stations you use, toilets you visit and where you do your shift handover, much of your daily working timeline is set out for you.

However, all that said, no two days are ever the same. What keeps us all going, bar the need for an income, is the variety, the flexibility, the places you go, the people you meet, the customers you talk to.

At Glasgow Taxis our slogan is that we are Your City’s Friend. And I think that’s spot on.

We are the only transport company which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 – or 366, in 2020 – days a year.

We are the eyes and ears of the city and we see all sorts of things, good and bad, in our daily working lives.

Sometimes, more than you could imagine, we are in the right place at the right time, when we really are needed most.

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Just last week I was heading back into the city after a drop-off in Knightswood. Travelling back along Alderman Road I noticed in the distance something that wasn’t quite right.

Now you are nothing as a Glasgow Taxi driver without good eyesight, and you become trained to see what is normal and what is different.

A body lying on the pavement isn’t normal – well, maybe at closing time in the town but certainly not in broad daylight during the week.

As I got closer, seconds later, I could see it was an elderly man on the pavement – so I immediately pulled over and dashed out to see if he needed help.

He did. The poor old fellow was in a bit of pain, having taking a tumble on to the deck.

I checked he was OK, phoned an ambulance and within moments others had arrived to help, including members of his family. Soon he was off to the best place for him – to get proper medical assistance.

This sort of thing happens more often than we’d like, but equally it’s often Your City’s Friend who is first on hand to help.

What makes this story one really worth telling is that I’m happy to report that my new Knightswood friend was quickly recovering and is now back home being looked after by family and visiting carers.

A lovely touch by the family was to contact Glasgow Taxis, track me down and phone me personally to thank me for helping the gentleman in his moment of need.

He has a ruptured spleen and other bumps and bruises so has been through the wars – but in his wife’s words, if I hadn’t been in the right place at the right time, it could have been much worse.

While it’s not something I want to see every time I do a shift, it’s good to know that those behind the wheel can be more than just taxi drivers.

We are proud to serve Glasgow and its people – we are Your City’s Friend, after all.

The Secret Taxi Driver writes every week for the Glasgow Times - bringing the tales from the rank on what really goes on inside those black cabs.