Taxis, New York City
Although New York’s streets seem to be full of yellow cabs, with all the people trying to catch a taxi it can sometimes be a challenge to find one that’s empty, even outside of the peak times (trying to get a cab to go downtown on a Friday night can be a fool’s errand, and within about three seconds of a rainstorm starting, every cab in the city is full). But you can improve your chances. Most people hail cabs at street intersections, so make sure that you stand at the corner the cab is going to pass first: if it’s Third Avenue, for example, where the traffic goes north, then stand on the southern corner of the cross street. If there’s someone already at the northern corner, that’s their problem: it’s perfectly acceptable to stick your hand out, since you’re the first in line from the cab-driver’s perspective. But if there are two people on a corner, then wait your turn: New Yorkers can get very shirty if they think you’re trying to steal their cab!
Taxis are also an option, but traffic can be a problem and their driving practices can only nicely be described as scary. Being afraid for your life aside, fares are usually pretty reasonable as long as you stay within Manhattan. The best part is that all you do to catch one is stand on the curb and flag one down.
Gotta love those New York City cab rides!
Hail a cab, hop in...and go for the "ride of your life!"
If you know your way around the NYC subway system, then surely it's much cheaper........but ya don't have as much fun as you would if you hopped in a cab!
Even a trip around the block could be quite memorable!
When I think of New York, one of the images that comes to mind is that of a yellow taxi. I found them to be very convenient on the ocassions that I chose to use them.
When going between JFK airport and Manhattan, there is a set fee of $35 plus any bridge toll, plus a tip. When I got in to JFK at 6:30am, I found the idea of a taxi more tempting than learning the subway system for the moment. Very convenient!
Taxis can be a bit pricey when just riding around town, but it was definitely convenient when returning to Washington Heights from Union Square at 2 in the morning.
Take one of New York's famous yellow cabs. The subway is a cheaper alternative and there is always the 15% tip for Taxis, but sometimes taking a cab is the only option. As a pedestrian, I was always wary of the cabbies - some of them are rather dangerous drivers. To get an idea of the huge number of cabs in Manhattan, climb the Empire State and just look at the lines of yellow cars in the streets beneath.
I don't know what people complain about when talking about NYC cabbies. When asked about what I remember most about NY I say without hesitation, 'the cab rides'. I have nothing but respect for these folks. If I was responsible for creating a new sport, it would be a race through NYC traffic to see who can get from A to B quickest. These guys drive like their lives depended on getting there as fast as they possibly can. Red lights, old ladies crossing the street, cops...these guys don't let them stand in their way. When I hear people talking about bungee jumping, cliff diving, etc., I tell them that's nothing. I've never had such an adrenaline rush in my life as when I was in those cabs. Next time, I'm just gonna' take cabs the whole time. Maybe it was my luck, but they were also much more polite and intelligent than those I have used in Portland or New Orleans. Cabbies of NY City-I salute you.
Instructions on how to hail a NYC taxi cab and other interesting pointers: http://www.ny.com/transportation/taxis/
Pic from Scorscese's movie Taxi Driver
Please be wary, there are some bad taxi drivers that will not pick up African Americans and/or try to fleece foreigners. If you feel that has been done to you, do not be hesitant to get the driver's ID number and call the company he or she works for with a complaint.
Although the subways are good, and surprisingly grafitti-free, you have to experience riding those ubiquitous yellow taxi cabs in Manhattan. Most of the taxi drivers are migrants from some obscure country and they have a story and half to tell about life in new York.
From the airports, take a taxi if cost is not too much of an issue. Otherwise, there are buses that run to all the major airports that cost a fraction of the amount that taxis cost
Between 7AM-9PM the subway and bus are absolutely fine. As the evening rolls on, plan on using taxis to travel longer distance. Taxis are safer at night, and also run more frequently than the subways and buses (i'm referring to the hours past 10 PM at night)
Besides the public transportation, there are thousands of yellow cabs. They always use meters (except going out to other boroughs or airports).
If you are brave enough to drive around Manhattan (it's really not that bad once you try it), please do pay attention to the parking signs. Some can be downright confusing. Don't park unless you're 100% sure that you can park there. There are also meter parking but it's not wise if you are planning to park for several hours. There are also a lot of parking garages but they are expensive. Just be patient and you will eventually find yer spot.
NYC is easy to get around by foot or by car. The streets (lower Manhattan is an exception) are all numerically ordered. North to south are numbered streets. East to West are numbered avenues. There are many one way streets. Remember E stands for East and all even numbers go east.
The reason that NYC has streets that go north to south and east to west was not for ease of travel. Back in the buggy days, the putrid ordor from horse dungs and poor or lack of plumbing system led to unsanitary and dangerous health conditions. The city planners made the streets extend from one end to the other so that there would be good air circulation. Pretty nifty, huh?
Taxi Driver is not only a movie with Robert de Niro and young Jodie Foster. This is - The Cab Driver - a real New York institution. Talk with them, open your heart to them, ask them questions and you will find the last Philosophers and Druids of this already tired millenium in most of them...
I love to call them, The People Who Knows It All :)))
We all know how to get to New York. By a plane from other parts of the world, rarely by a ship and by a car, train, bus, airplane, bicycle, by a foot etc... within the USA...
Snorkeling may be an option but I'm not sure how the Federal Goverment will look onto it...
Bicycles are readily available in the City for rent. If you are not afraid of a madmen disguised as a cab, limousine, bus etc. drivers, give it a shot...
New York has 3 major airports and 2 train stations, so getting there should be pretty easy. All of the airports have shuttles to get you into the city, and JFK has its own subway stop. I wouldn't recommend driving into the city though, New York drivers are tough and parking is hard to come by and expensive.
I like the subway because it is quick and gives good coverage of the city. Busses are also good and you get to see some of the city while you're travelling. Maps and info can be found at:
MTA Official Site
Cabs can be expensive. Like every city in the world, if you're from out of town, they'll try to take you the wrong way.
Prices are dictated by a meter, which is easily seen. Just making sure you know where you are and which way you should be going so you don't get shafted. New York is a big grid, and the streets run North and South, and East and West, so its easy to figure out which way you are headed. (not like London or Paris)
To get from the aiport to the city, you will have all the choices from train (subway) , taxis, buses.
Taxis into the city have now a fixed price somewhere around 25-35 dollars so as to avoid the ripp-offs tourist were subjected before. I dont remember exactly. There is also a train that goes all along Manhattan the A/E train and the buses.
The subway is the best way to get around in the city, specially during the weekdays. The traffic can be really bad. The subway is fairly fast, fairly clean, safe.
As of May 2008, the rates of the yellow (are there others?) taxis are shown on the photo, as taken on a taxi's door.