NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Just a month after an undercover investigation showed taxi drivers refusing fares headed to the outer boroughs, one New York City cabbie agreed to drive his passengers across the country – to Los Angeles.
John Belitsky, the son of a former NYC cab driver, and his friend Dan Wuebben decided to try something they thought “would be a lot of fun.”
Sonia Rincon With More On The Epic Cross-Country Journey
The two men traveled to LaGuardia Airport and inquired about having a cabbie drive them to Los Angeles in exchange for $5,000. Belitsky’s father told him that no driver would agree to take the deal, but he turned out to be wrong.
Belitsky, who spoke with 1010 WINS’ Justin Schrager Thursday afternoon, said driver Mohammed Alam first suggested he take a flight before stepping up and deciding “he would do it.”
1010 WINS’ Justin Schrager Interviews John Belitsky
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Belitsky, Alam and Wuebben were approximately 400 miles from Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon and expected to complete their journey before Friday morning. The men embarked on the cross-country trip around 11 p.m. Saturday night.
So how is the cabbie holding up after so much driving? Alam told 1010 WINS he simply likes to drive.
“Nothing bothering for me. Little tired, I feel good. No problem at all,” he said.
As they moved ever closer to their destination, Belitsky said they had been able to take in the beautiful sites and scenes of the country, which included a stop at the Grand Canyon.
“That was inexplicably beautiful and mysterious and incredible,” he said. Alam also called his experience at the Grand Canyon “really beautiful and great.” He is also hoping to visit Universal Studios and many other sites in Los Angeles.
“I’m from Bangladesh. When I was young, it was my dream — one day I will go to Universal Studios,” Alam said.
Belitsky said that he didn’t spend a lot of time planning on how to go about his goal, but “became really focused on pulling it off” after his father expressed doubts.
“It was just a really, kind of beautifully strange thing. So we did it. I really don’t think it’s that crazy either,” he said.
Friends have called and emailed Belitsky, expressing that they thought his journey was crazy and outlandish.
“A week of my life if I wanted to go on a vacation on a Carnival cruise ride, I’d be sitting on a ship in a floating prison having no fun at all,” Belitsky joked.
When asked what his favorite part of the entire trip has been, Belitsky cited “people’s reactions.”
“You’ll go inside to a gas station and the place will just erupt when they see this cab,” he said.
Belitsky is still unsure of his plans once he gets to California. Cab Driver Alam plans to meet up with a friend from Queens who flew to Los Angeles and will drive back to New York City with him.
As for Alam’s message for his fellow cab drivers? “Nothing is impossible in this world. We can do everything whatever we want,” he said.