Finding a taxi in NYC is generally very easy to do unless it's raining (then everyone wants one)...just look for a taxi with the light on the roof illuminated in the middle. (If it's lit only on the ends, it means the driver is off duty - sometimes they will stop to see if they can get another fare on their way home, but don't be surprised if they tell you no and drive off). You'll notice that some taxis either don't switch the light off when they've got a fare, or it's broken, but essentially this is how you'll know if the taxi is available.
Sometimes you may find that a black (sometimes silver) Lincoln Town Car will pull over to offer a ride while you're attempting to flag down a taxi. I wouldn't suggest using the services of these livery cars, as they aren't all properly licensed and there have been several instances where women have been sexually assaulted by the drivers.
The taxi has always been a favorite, however with gas prices going up, so are the cab fares. Step in the cab and it's $2.50 and the meter keeps running, then of course there is the traffic. Buses are cheap, but you need exact change ($2.00) and also have to deal with traffic. Subways are fast, cheap ($2.00), but can be confusing to people who don't normally use them.
The New York Meto system offers a cute little card, that can let you ride all the busses and subways you want.
For all practical proposes, the system can get you any where you want. I bought a 7 day card for $41.00 and that was less then one day on a lot of the tour busses.
You can buy the card at many places, but I found the subway station to be the easiest to find.
If bus and subway systems are a little intimating, no problem see my tip, "Learning how to get where you want".
Standard City Rate (Rate Code 1)
$2.50 upon entry
$0.40 for each additional unit
The unit fare is:
* one-fifth of a mile, when the taxicab is traveling at 6 miles an hour or more; or
* 60 seconds when not in motion or traveling at less than 12 miles per hour.
* The taximeter shall combine fractional measures of distance and time in accruing a unit of fare. Any combination of distance or time shall be computed by the taximeter in accordance with the National Bureau of Standards.
* The fare shall include pre-assessment of the unit currently being accrued; the amount due may therefore include a full unit charge for a final, fractional unit.
* Night surcharge of $.50 after 8:00 PM & before 6:00 AM
* Peak hour Weekday Surcharge of $1.00 Monday - Friday after 4:00 PM & before 8:00 PM
On a recent trip to New York we walked out of LaGuardia to a massive line of people waiting for a cab. It was cold and relatively late in the evening and the thought of standing in that line was discouraging at best.
There was a limo driver who offered us a ride. He also got a family to go with us in the stretch limo. It was nice having some company on the drive into the city but the limo was incredible!
The stretch limo was in such poor shape that it looked like a limo that the secret service used for training presidential drivers during the Carter era. It had a Craiger cassette deck in the ceiling! The driver wasn't too keen on people ragging his car and got a little indignant when asked if it would make it from LGA to Manhattan. You could hear the car groan and creak as it made it's way to Midtown Manhattan. Thankfully the windows were tinted.
The ride went well. It probably cost $5.00 or $10.00 more to get to the hotel but the experience was worth every penny.
Getting around NYC by taxi or cab as it is referred to is the easiest but not always the fastest way to get from point A to point B. Just stand by the curb with your arm stretched out and an available cab will stop.
If you arrive at Brooklyn cruise terminal (The Cunard Queen Mary 2 does) then either pre-book transportation or get off the ship very early.
When we arrived, there were two taxis - this for a ship that carries approx 2600 passengers is a little sparse.
Luckily we were just 'in transit' and didn't use the taxi but the queue of people and the number of taxis waiting just didn't seem to change for the day..
Well new york is well known for its taxis and they did not dissapoint in my eyes. The prices were reasonable and all of the taxis were clean. The taxi drivers were very polite and always gave an option of routes eg the shortest route may be to take 5th av but you will get stuck in traffic so they would offer you to go down 7th av you would arrive quicker but it would cost slightly more!%c
Everywhere you go in New York City it looks like a sea of yellow there are so many taxis. Use these as often as possible as they get you to your destination in half of the time as the pavements are very crowded and you have to fight your way through the throng.
The drivers are very friendly and helpful and the prices are extremely reasonable.
Taxi's are good way to get to and around the city. However, if you are going to the city from where ever you are , this may be an expensive way to travel. Once you are in the city though its very inexpensive. You can share the ride with a bunch of people, for a regular taxi, max 5 people. The fare is usually only like 5-7 bucks , depending on where you are going. But figure your going to split that with 5 people, thats cheap ! But beware the they are the taxi drivers from hell. They will get you where you are going, but the ride could scare the *** out of you. they get there and they get there fast . they even have extreme " oh *** " handles . Beware !
The subways don't go near LaGuardia Airport. And the train from JFK takes at least an hour or more. Newark requires a subway and a train or a subway, a NJ subway then a train or cab... So taxis are kind of the necessary eveil when arriving and departing NYC.
The drivers are terrible at their job, many times very rude, cabs will stink and they are expensive. After the most recent fare hike we were promised new credit card machines in taxis as well as other improvements in exchange for the higher rates. This week the cab drivers have threatened to strike now that some of those improvements are being "forced on them."
I think of the cab drivers in Dublin and how friendly they are and long for that kind of graciousness and kindness.
One big tip - Get in the cab and THEN tell him where you are going. It is illegal for taxis in NYC that are on duty to reject a fare. Especially when it is because they don't want to drive out to Brooklyn or the Upper West Side or JFK airport. But if you aren't in the cab when they find out where you are headed, they will take off. Get in, tell the driver where you are going and don't offer him a chance to say no.
Yellow Cab is a famous part of NYC landmark but should be infamous for many other reasons. The drivers rarely speak english and they never know where is the street you want to go to. And if they don't like to take you to some place far or just wrong direction they would leave you on the street so make sure you jump into the car first and then tell the address, that way they are obliged to take you where you want. It did happen to me though that the driver pulled over and refused to go once I told him the address saying he will be late somewhere else and eventually I got off this taxi cuz I was in a hurry and knew it would take less time to find another one.
It's impossible to catch a cab when it's raining.
When arriving at JFK unless it's during the day time I suggest booking transportation in advance for a shuttle or car service. I have landed after dark and depending upon the terminal you can be waiting upwards of an hour. Do NOT use the guys who come up to you. They are doing it illegally and might not have the proper license to driver or insurance god forbid something happens and it has. I usually use New York Guest www.newyorkguest.com when I can't get someone to bring me to the airport. Ask for Kelly she's really sweet.
Luxor Limo & Car Service in New York provides excellent luxury ground transportation to and from the airports, meetings , nights out, weddings, proms, and much more. limousine and limo car service.
NYC Metro - The NYC Subway rivals Boston and Chicago for "mass transit stories." There's always something happening there, but it is cheap, efficient, and if you know what you are doing (hey, even if you don't - we didn't) you can get around for $2.00 where a cab would cost $6-10.
you can purchase all day "unlimited rides" for $7.00, but if you don't know how many trips you'll be taking, it's probably better to get the "multi-ride" ticket. Anything over $10 and you get a 20% bonus. So, a $10.00 card for five rides actually gives you 6.
It's best to use the subway or walk, but sometimes if you can't figure out where you are going and need to get there quick, you may take a cab. What you have heard about NYC cabbies is most likely true. One of ours talked to himself in a language we couldn't identify for the entire ride. I can't say it was cheap, but they did get us where we needed to go.