While using buses and marshrutkas as a means to reach point B from point A, I often hear drivers being addressed as "шеф" or "командир", as in:
Командир, возьми за проезд!
Шеф, до вокзала едешь?
Where does this tradition come from and is this way proper to use (i.e. would the driver be offended if I address him like that)?
шофёр, akin to
капитан -> кэп.
Шефcan be used to informally address any man, not just a driver.
командирcan too, but it's much more common among the drivers.