Prepare yourself for an adventure like no other as we gear up to conquer the electrifying streets of New York City like true pros. Get ready to dive headfirst into the ultimate Taxi in New York City 101 guide. It is where we will unravel the secrets of hailing a cab and explore the fascinating differences between taxis, Uber, and the Subway. No bs—just the insider insights you need to navigate New York City transportation scene. Your journey into city savvy begins right here, right now.
Mastering the New York City Taxi Hail: A Foolproof Guide
Hailing a taxi in the bustling streets of New York City might seem daunting. But it is a breeze when you know exactly how to get it done. By following these straightforward steps, you will have a taxi at your service faster than you can say “yellow cab.”
Selecting a Prime Location + Available Taxi
Begin your taxi-hailing adventure by choosing your location wisely. Avoid bus stops, crosswalks, or any zones where stopping is a no-go. Seek out locations where the taxi can pull over without causing traffic snarls. Sidewalks near street corners are usually a good fit for hailing a taxi, as long as they are not tangled in intersections.
In New York City, spotting an available taxi is an art form. Keep an eye out for cabs with their rooftop medallion numbers lit up in the center. Remember, if that rooftop light is off, even if the fare indicators are flashing, the taxi is off-duty or already occupied.
Get the Taxi Driver’s Attention
Once you have got your targeted taxi in sight position yourself confidently at the sidewalk’s edge and give a clear, authoritative wave. Stretch your arm out, and if you can, lock eyes with the driver. It is all about making that connection.
Entering the Taxi + Stating Your Destination
Once the taxi has pulled over, do not dilly-dally. Approach swiftly and enter on the curbside for safety’s sake. But before getting into the backseat, jot down that medallion number from the roof or inside the cab. It is your insurance policy in case something is left behind or any issues crop up.
Once inside, let the driver know where you are headed. For iconic locations such as large department stores, airports, landmarks, et cetera stating the location’s names is often enough for the driver. However in other cases stating cross streets is sufficient.
Understanding the Taxi Fare + Payment Options
With New York City taxi fares, knowledge is power. Know that fares are metered, with a $3.00 initial charge. But extra charges do apply based on distance, time, peak-hour premiums, and any tolls. The meter starts once you have settled in and your destination is clear.
As the journey concludes, it is time to settle the bill. There are options to pay by cash or credit card. If you are using a credit card, a nifty touchscreen in the back seat will be used to conduct your transaction. Complete the transaction, add in a tip [generally 15-20 percent of the fare—I like 20 to 25 percent] and make sure you always take your receipt.
STANDARED METERED FARE + Airport trips
Standared Metered Fare
- $3.00 initial charge.
- With .70 cents per 1/5 mile when traveling above 12mph or per 60 seconds in slow traffic or when the vehicle is stopped.
- Plus 50 cents MTA State Surcharge for all trips that end in New York City or Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange or Putnam Counties.
- An additional $1.00 Improvement Surcharge.
- Plus $1.00 overnight surcharge 8 PM to 6 AM.
- An additional $2.50 rush hour surcharge from 4 PM to 8 PM on weekdays, excluding holidays.
- Plus New York State Congestion Surcharge of $2.50 [Yellow Taxi] or $2.75 [Green Taxi and For Hire Vehicles [FHV]] or 75 cents [any shared ride] for all trips that begin, end or pass through Manhattan south of 96th Street.
- Also included tips and any tolls.
- There is no charge for extra passengers, luggage or bags, or paying by credit card.
- The on-screen rate message should read: “Rate #01 – Standard City Rate.”
- ¸Airport Access Fee
Taxi: $1.75 for pick up only at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports
FHV: $2.50 for both drop off and pick up at
- Airport Access Fee
- Taxi: $1.75 for pick up only at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy Airports
- FHV: $2.50 for both drop off and pick up at LaGuardia, Newark, and John F. Kennedy airports
- Trips to and from LaGuardia Airport [LGA] are charged the standard metered fare, plus a $5.00 surcharge and all other applicable surcharges.
- Trips between Manhattan and John F. Kennedy Airport [JFK] in either direction:
- Plus 50 cents MTA State Surcharge.
- Plus $1.00 Improvement Surcharge.
- $5.00 rush hour surcharge [4 PM to 8 PM weekdays, excluding legal holidays].
- Plus New York State Congestion Surcharge of $2.50 [Yellow Taxi] or $2.75 [Green Taxi and FHV] or 75 cents [any shared ride] for all trips that begin, end or pass through Manhattan south of 96th Street.
- Plus tips and any tolls.
- The on-screen rate message should read “Rate #2- JFK Airport.”
- Trips between John F. Kennedy Airport [JFK] and other New York City destinations are charged the standard metered fare.
- Trips to Newark Airport [EWR]:
- Standard metered fare.
- Plus $20.00 Newark Surcharge.
- Plus tip and tolls to and from EWR [passengers are charged for the drivers’ return tolls].
- The on-screen rate message should read “Rate #3 – Newark Airport.”
Unveiling the NYC Taxi Mosaic: A Spectrum of Choices
New York City’s taxis are not just modes of transportation. They are living, breathing components of the city’s soul. So, let us unravel the diversity of taxi you will find on the streets of New York City:
Yellow Taxis [Medallion Taxis]:
Iconic and unmistakable, these bright yellow chariots are synonymous with NYC. They are the taxi royalty of the city, allowed to pick up street-hailed passengers anywhere within the five boroughs. When you think of New York City taxis, you are thinking of these luminous legends.
Green Taxis [Boro Taxis]:
Officially known as Boro Taxis, these emerald-hued vehicles were introduced to enhance taxi service in areas where yellow cabs are a rarer sight. Specifically in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens [excluding the airports], and Staten Island. While they can pick up street hails in specific boroughs, however not in the Hail Exclusionary Zone. Which includes South of East 96th Street and south of West 110th Street or at the La Guardia or John F. Kennedy airports.
Livery Taxis [Car Services or Black Cars]:
These sleek, black-clad vehicles operate by dispatch, and can pick you up anywhere in New York City. They are the epitome of convenience, often arranged through phone calls or apps. Unlike their yellow and green counterparts, you can not hail them on the streets.
New York City taxis are all about inclusivity. Both yellow and green taxi have accessible vehicles with ramps or lifts and interior tweaks designed to secure wheelchairs. It is a testament to the city’s commitment to ensuring that everyone can hop aboard and explore.
In New York City, your taxi choices are as diverse as the city itself. Whether you opt for the iconic yellow, the green alternatives, or the convenience of a livery taxi, each ride offers a unique slice of the city’s character. So, take your pick.
Mastering NYC Taxi Etiquette and Fare Wisdom: A Roadmap for the Savvy Traveler
Venture into the whirlwind of New York City life and embrace the essence of its taxi culture. To ensure a seamless journey for both you and your driver, let us dive deep into the core of essential taxi etiquette:
- Entering and Exiting with Grace: In the streets of New York City, a simple courtesy can go a long way. Allow your driver the privilege of opening and closing the door, preventing potential mishaps with passing cars or cyclists. It is a small gesture that keeps things in harmony. Please Note: the percentage of taxi drivers that will open the door for you is very small. Especially with Uber, yellow cabs and green taxi.
- Conversations while in Transit: Engaging in conversation with your driver is not just allowed but often appreciated. However, the driver’s focus is paramount. So, while conversation is encouraged, refrain from complex or controversial topics that might divert their attention from focusing on getting you to your desired destination.
- The Art of Tipping: Tipping your taxi driver is not just a custom. It is a tradition that shows your driver you appreciate his/her service. The customary range falls between 15-20 percent of the total fare—I like to do between 20 and 25. Yet, let the quality of service be your compass. Feel free to adjust your tip accordingly but I will suggest you DO NOT go below 15 percent.
Overture + Surcharges
Understanding the fare structure is the cornerstone of estimating your taxi ride cost in the city that never sleeps. New York City taxi fares are meticulously metered, weaving together time and distance into a finely tuned symphony:
The Overture: Drop and Mileage Charges: Your journey starts with a $3.00 overture. For every 1/5 mile traveled or a minute spent in the bustle of the city’s streets, the meter registers an additional charge of $0.70.
Additional Surcharges: As the day transforms into night, a $1.00 night surcharge for rides between 8 PM and 6 AM. Meanwhile, during the weekday rush hours from 4 PM to 8 PM, an extra $2.50 surcharge. And do not forget to include the tolls if applicable.
Harmonizing Your Payment: As the journey reaches its end, the moment arrives for payment. You have two options—cash or card. If you choose the latter, a user-friendly touchscreen in the back seat is there to complete your transaction. Here, you can select your desired tip amount before finalizing your payment.
Navigating Challenges in New York City Taxis
Even in the smoothest journeys, unexpected hiccups can arise during your taxi adventure. But it is not a cause for worry—here is your comprehensive guide on how to tackle issues and disputes:
Lost and Found Dilemmas
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of leaving something behind, your first port of call is to reach out to the taxi company directly. Their assistance may lead to the swift recovery of your belongings. But should this initial effort prove fruitless The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission [TLC] is very helpful. They have set up the Lost Property Inquiry system, a lifeline for lost items where you can file a report with them.
Fare Frustrations and Service Snags
Fare disagreements or concerns about service quality can occasionally come up during your journey. In such moments, it is best to keep your cool. Engage in a calm, respectful conversation with your driver. More often than not, these discussions can clear the air and resolve the matter.
But if a resolution remains elusive, take note of the taxi’s medallion number. Armed with this information, reach out to the TLC to lodge a formal complaint. They are committed to ensuring every passenger enjoys a safe and equitable experience.
Addressing Concerns Beyond the Norm
In New York City’s other concerns can sometimes unveil beyond lost items and fare disputes. From reckless driving to overcharging or unprofessional behavior. However your safety and comfort are paramount. When faced with such issues, do not hesitate—report them to the TLC.
They are the regulatory powerhouse for taxis in New York City, dedicated to upholding the highest standards of safety and professionalism in your taxi journey.
knowing how to navigate challenges is your key to a worry-free experience. So, whether you are trying to retrieve lost treasures, resolve fare dilemmas, or report concerns that demand attention, rest assured that your journey is safeguarded by the TLC. Your rights are protected.
Read about your rights as a passenger here.
The New York City Transportation: Taxis vs. Uber
With New York City transportation there are a variety of choices. Let us embark on a thrilling exploration of how traditional New York City taxis measure up against the modern marvel of rideshare services, Uber:
Availability and Ease of Use
New York City Taxis offers the convenience of spontaneity. A mere step onto the sidewalk and a confident wave takes you from point A to point B. Uber, on the other hand, demands a smartphone, an app, and a modicum of patience. Yet, it gifts you the power to summon a ride from the comfort of anywhere, even the coziness of indoors, complete with estimated arrival times.
Taxis wield metered fares. They stand unwavering even amidst the chaos of peak hours, with only minor surcharges. Uber, however, introduces a twist with dynamic pricing, where rates surge in moments of high demand. Yet, it can be your thrifty ally during off-peak serenity or on lengthier journeys that crisscross the city.
Comfort and Personalized Experiences
Uber unveils a palette of choices. Whether you yearn for the budget-friendly embrace of UberX or the lavish luxury of Uber Black, your preferences dictate the experience. Taxis, in their iconic yellow sheen, offer a consistent level of comfort and safety, ensuring you are always in capable hands.
Accessibility for All
Accessibility is the heart of both Uber and NYC taxis. Both fleets offers wheelchair-accessible vehicles, ensuring inclusivity. Yet, Uber’s accessibility [UberWAV service] will vary from time to time. Based on my experience it is often best to request service before hand. In contrast, NYC taxis devote around 13 percent of their fleet to accessible vehicles and can be booked through accessible dispatch programs.
Citywide Accessible Dispatch Service
There are four ways to request a New York City wheelchair accessible taxi through the Citywide Accessible Dispatch Program:
- Use the mobile app Accessible Dispatch NYC powered by Medical Transportation Management, Inc. [MTM] and available free at the Apple App Store or the Android App Store
- Order online at Accessible Dispatch New Reservation
- Call the dispatch center directly:  599-9999
- Call 311, NY Relay: 711
Payment and Tipping
When it is time to settle your bill, New York City taxis gives you the freedom of choice. Cash or card, the decision is yours. But remember, tipping is the unwritten rule of the city, often expected and greatly appreciated. Uber, the pioneer of cashless convenience, handles payment, including tips, all through its app. A seamless conclusion to your ride, with no need to reach for your wallet.
As you traverse the New York City transportation maze, the choice between taxis and Uber rests on your unique needs and circumstances. Each comes bearing its own set of strengths and idiosyncrasies offering a vivid tapestry of options. Armed with this knowledge, your journey through the Big Apple becomes a tailor-made experience, designed to suit your every whim and fancy. So, hail a taxi or summon an Uber.
Taxis vs. Subway: New York City’s Dueling Transportation Titans
In the grand tapestry of New York City’s transportation, public transit is often the most budget friendly and convenient. The Subway system is our crown jewel. Let us embark on a thrilling journey to compare the might of taxis with the Subway system.
Speed and Traffic—A Battle of Wits
In the concrete labyrinth of New York City, taxi rides can encounter unpredictable traffic. Subway trains, by contrast, glide beneath the surface, often trumping taxis during the frenzied rush hours. Yet, do not count out taxis entirely, for they hold the upper hand during the off-peak hours or on meandering routes where speed is not of the essence.
Convenience and Accessibility—The Comfort Factor
Taxis extend the courtesy of door-to-door service, a luxurious touch, especially if you are laden with luggage or shopping bags. However, the Subway’s embrace is less accommodating, with many stations lacking elevators, making it an obstacle course for those with mobility challenges.
Coverage—The Tale of Two Travels
The Subway weaves a comprehensive web, blanketing most corners of the city. Taxis, in theory, can traverse every avenue and alley, but they thrive in the heart of Manhattan and at the airport gates. For the outer boroughs and less bustling locales, summoning a cab through an app might be your best bet.
Cost—Dollars and Sense
When it comes to your wallet, the Subway is the budget-friendly champion, particularly for longer journeys. However, if you are journeying with a group, splitting a taxi fare can make it a contender, possibly even more economical than multiple Subway tickets.
Experience—The Soul of the Journey
Riding in a taxi gifts you a private, personalized voyage, a chance to witness the city from street level. In contrast, the Subway bestows a quintessential New York City experience, a front-row seat to the theater of local life.
In the grand showdown of New York City’s transportation giants, your choice between taxis, Uber, and the Subway is dictated by your unique needs and circumstances. Each contender brings its own strengths and idiosyncrasies to the ring. Armed with this knowledge, your journey through the city that never sleeps transforms into a tailor-made experience, designed to cater to your every whim and fancy. So, whether you hail a taxi, summon an Uber, or descend into the depths of the Subway, the city’s embrace is yours to explore.
Mastering Rainy-Day Cab Hails and Airport Caution
When it is raining New York City, hailing a taxi becomes a game of luck and chance—you might just be among the fortunate few who succeed. Here is the unwritten rule: when the rain falls, your chances of flagging a cab plummet. Your best strategy? Seek out places that can summon a cab for you, perhaps the entrance of a prominent hotel.
A Word of Caution for Airport Transfers
Many tourists opt for a taxi ride from the airport to their New York hotel, and it is a convenient choice. However, tread with caution to ensure you do not fall prey to deceptive practices. Check that the driver is applying the correct fare, known as the “set fare” or “flat fare,” for airport transfers.
For the journey from JFK to Manhattan [and back], a fixed rate is in effect, supplemented by tolls and a $0.50 state tax. And do not forget to tip, usually around 20 and 25 percent. Depending on your hotel’s location, you can anticipate a cost of roughly $70 to $85. But beware, there are drivers out there who may try to pull the wool over tourists’ eyes. If the driver hesitates to offer a flat rate, make it crystal clear that you will find a another taxi.
Bonus: A Well-Prepared Taxi Adventure
As you have undoubtedly realized, taking a cab in the bustling streets of New York City can be quite the adventure, especially if you are a tourist. But fear not, armed with these tips, you are now well-equipped to locate, hail, and safely reach your destination in the iconic NYC Yellow Cab.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]—Your NYC Taxi Guide
- How do I hail a taxi in New York City?
Hailing a taxi in the Big Apple is an art form. Stand curbside, not too close to intersections or no-stop zones. Spot an approaching taxi with its rooftop medallion center light on, then raise your arm and give it a confident wave.
- Can I book a taxi in advance in NYC?
Absolutely! New York Cit offers the convenience of pre-booking taxis through various dispatch services and taxi-hailing apps available throughout the city.
- How much does a taxi cost in New York City ?
The base fare to kick off your taxi adventure is $3.00. Keep in mind that additional charges apply for distance, time, and during peak hours. Do not forget to watch out for toll surcharges as well.
Frequently Asked Questions continue below.
The official NYC taxis also have an app, called Curb, that lets you can book a ride even up to 24 hours in advance. Curb also offers you the chance to pick what size taxi you need [4-doors or SUV sized]. You can also pay by credit card in the app or with cash in the car.
- Do New York City taxis accept credit cards?
Certainly. In the age of plastic, all NYC taxis are required to accept credit and debit cards, alongside the good old cash.
- What s the difference between yellow and green taxis?
Yellow taxis reign supreme, with the authority to pick up passengers citywide. Green taxis, officially known as Boro Taxis, serve areas less frequented by their yellow counterparts, excluding most of Manhattan below 110th Street.
- How do I know if a taxi is available?
Keep an eye on the taxi’s rooftop medallion center light. If it is illuminated, displaying the medallion number, the taxi is available and ready to roll.
- How does a taxi compare to Uber or the Subway in New York City?
Each mode of transportation has its strengths. Taxis are quick for short distances and easy to hail in Manhattan. Uber can be cost-effective for longer journeys, while the Subway is a reliable and economical choice, especially during heavy traffic.
- Is tipping required in New York City taxis?
Tipping is the norm when you are riding in an NYC taxi. While it is not require—it is appreciated. Typically, passengers tip around 15-20 percent of the fare, but feel free to adjust based on the service you receive. I like between 20 and 25 percent.
- Are New York City taxis safe?
Rest assured, NYC taxis are regulated and licensed by the city. Taxi drivers undergo thorough background checks, making them a safe choice for transportation.
Yes, New York City caters to accessibility needs with both yellow and green taxi fleets including wheelchair-accessible vehicles, equipped with ramps or lifts to ensure everyone can travel comfortably.
Just For Fun—Fub Facts About New York City’s Yellow Cabs: Unveiling the Legends
These bright yellow chariots are not just modes of transport. They are emblematic of New York City itself. Prepare to be captivated by ten fascinating facts about these legendary taxis:
Yellow taxis, also known as medallion taxis, owe their name to the metal disc, or medallion, affixed to their hood. These medallions are officially issued by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission [TLC].
In their prime in 2013, these medallions commanded prices exceeding a staggering $1 million each. They were perceived as rock-solid investments.
First Yellow Cabs
The saga of yellow cabs began in 1907 when the first gasoline-powered yellow taxis graced New York City streets. However, it was not until 1915 that the iconic hue took over, thanks to John Hertz of Hertz car rental fame. He painted his taxis yellow, inspired by a University of Chicago study that claimed yellow was the most visible color from a distance.
The Yellow Fleet
As of 2021, the city was home to a remarkable fleet of 13,587 yellow cabs.
A Melting Pot of Drivers:
NYC’s taxi drivers represent a staggering diversity of approximately 167 nationalities. TLC-licensed drivers self-reported 167 different countries as their place of birth in the 2000 United States Census. And of all TLC drivers in 2000, 84 percent were immigrants, up from the 64 percent figure reported in 1990 and the 38 percent reported in 1980.
Yellow cabs keep the city moving, providing a staggering 485,000 rides per day.
Taxi Drivers vs. Fairbanks
Here is a fascinating tidbit: there are more taxi drivers in New York City than there are residents in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Movie Star Status
Yellow cabs have played cameo roles in countless film, literature and music, shaping the global image of New York City. Films: Taxi , On the Town, Taxi Driver, Taxi (1932), Stuart Little, Ghostbusters, Scrooged, Home Alone 2, Side Street, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Escape from New York, City Hall, The Bone Collector, Conspiracy Theory, The Fifth Element, Superman, Superman II, Annie Hall, and Enchanted.
NYC’s iconic yellow cabs are a beacon of 24/7 service, ready to traverse every corner of the city’s five boroughs.
High Mileage Achievers
On average, a yellow taxi journeys about 180 miles during a single shift, a testament to their tireless dedication to keeping the city in motion.
With these captivating insights, your next ride in a New York City Yellow Cab promises to be more than just a journey—it is a plunge into the very heart of the city’s spirit and vitality.
Navigating NYC Like a Taxi Pro
Congratulations, intrepid traveler, you have just completed your crash course in mastering the vibrant world of NYC taxis. From confidently hailing a cab to understanding the intricate fare structure. You are now equipped with the insider knowledge needed to navigate the bustling streets of the Big Apple like a true pro.
But the adventure does not stop here. Armed with the wisdom of the different taxi types, the intricacies of etiquette and fare structure, and even tips for rainy days. You are ready to embark on your city-savvy journey through New York City’s diverse transportation landscape.
Whether you choose the classic yellow taxi, opt for the convenience of Uber, or dive into the iconic NYC Subway experience, you are now equipped to make informed decisions that suit your specific needs and circumstances. New York City’s transportation options are as diverse as the city itself, and your newfound expertise ensures you will make the most of every ride.
So, as you step out onto the streets of New York City, raise your arm confidently, spot that rooftop medallion light, and let the adventure begin. Whether it is the thrill of Times Square, the serenity of Central Park, or the allure of Broadway, you’re now in control of your journey through the city that never sleeps.
Here is to unforgettable rides and remarkable memories in the city that defines urban living. Your NYC taxi adventure awaits—enjoy every moment of it.