Taxis, New York City
What trip to New York would be complete without a ride in a yellow cab!
We caught a cab from JFK to our hotel in Midtown Manhattan. There is a set fare for this trip of 35 USD, plus tolls....oh, and a tip of course.
This is actually pretty good value, especially when you arrive late-ish at night like we did.
We also caught a cab a couple of times at night after dinner.
Just make sure you catch one in the right location to enable you to zip down one of the avenues and get all the green lights.
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.
This was a great way to get to New York. We drove to a secure park and ride and had to be there 6:00 am sharp. We just sat back, relaxed and let them worry about the traffic, toll bridges, and parking. From there, they took us to Broadway in New York City where we were on our own to shop, sight see or whatever we wanted to do. Just had to be back there at 6:00 pm sharp to get back. We even got a movie on the way back. The coach bus was comfortable and clean. Enjoyed the trip a lot. The coach driver was pretty cool too!
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They offer wheel chair accessible tours and trips. Please Contact them directly at 1-800-888-1228 to make arrangements.
It is advised you only ride in the official yellow licensed NYC Taxi cabs and not in the so called 'gypsy" cabs which often aren't insured properly and will basically charge you whatever they want.
From JFK : The flat fare is $45.00 as of May 2004, plus any tolls. The meter will not be turned on and the night surcharge will not be added.
(note there's no flat fare TO the JFK airport)
In New York : the NEW metered rate of fare as of May 2004 :
-$2.50 upon entry
-$.40 for each additional unit
The unit of fare is one-fifth of a mile, when the taxicab is traveling at 8 miles an hour or more; or 2 minutes (40 cents, i.e. at a rate of 20 cents per minute), when the taxicab is not in motion or is traveling at less than 8 miles an hour.
-Night surcharge of $.50 after 8:00 PM & before 6:00 AM
-New as of May 2004 is the peak surcharge of $ 1.00 between 4pm-8pm on weekdays.
-if the roof numbers are lit up, the taxi is available
-occupied cabs have their top lights switched off, taxi's that are "off duty" have the corresponding words lit in the sign on the roof
-taxi's can be flagged with a raise of the hand and a flick of the wrist
-a taxi will carry up to four passengers
-make sure the driver knows exactly where you want to go, as many drivers are newly arrived immigrants
-the driver may NOT ask you your destiniation before you've sat down and by law must take you anywhere in the city
-pay cash and tip the driver about 15%
-if the driver does not comply or is unreasonable, rude etc..., saying you will report him to the Taxi & Limousine Commission (which is your right) usually helps. The driver's name and license number are visible from the backseat.
Taxis are a very convenient way to get around, particularly at night, BUT NOT DURING RUSH HOUR. Taxis are yellow - anyone who tells you he's a taxi driver in a car a color other than yellow is lying. If the light on teh top of the cab is lit in the middle, the cab is empty and in service. Most hotels have taxi stands, as do Grand CEntral and Penn Station. Hailing a cab yourself is easy enough. Stand just off hte corner,a little bit out in the street, and raise your arm. This is usually enough to get a cab to stop. Yelling "taxi" or whistling is unnecessary - the city is noisy enough as it is. Rate for taxis are:
$2.50 just for getting in
$0.40 for each 1/5 mile
$0.40 for each 120 seconds stopped in traffic.
$1.00 peak surcharge (4pm - 8pm weekdays)
$0.50 additional night charge (8pm - 6am)
Plus, tip in the range of 15-20 percent.
In the back of every cab there is a list of riders' rights, which includes "the right ot a receipt," "the right to be taken to any destination in the metropolitan area," etc. You also have the right to a seatbelt. It would be wise to buckle up, as taxis move fast and allow little margin for error. Taxi drivers sometimes try to rip you off by taking a longer route than is necessary, but if they think you know what you're talking about, they won't mess with you. Know where you're going and try to mention that you'd like to go via a certain street.
Personally, I think NYC taxi drivers are the safest on earth. Granted they don't drive like a tractor in a farm, slow and steady or whatever, but they get you where you need to go in one piece and quickly. And the whole whistling thing, shhh, but I do it! :-)
Sometimes you can get into a cab with a crazy cabbi. Not always, some are very nice and willing to engage you in conversation and will offer travel information. But sometimes,
you get a kook, that is absolutely nuts, and drives like a bat a hell. I have actually had to have two taxi drivers stop and let me out of their cab. I thought I would die if I let them drive me to my destination. I'm not sure why some taxi drivers are like this, but just be aware of it and ask them to pull over if you feel uncomfortable.
check out the website below for more info
There are probably cheaper ways of getting from LaGuardia (LGA) airport to Manhattan but none are easier than hopping into a cab.
I arrived on a Saturday morning when there was very little traffic and the ride was very quick, probably less than 20 minutes. I ended up paying $35 for the ride, the meter was $28, $4 for the toll and a tip.
There was a short queue outside the terminal, you'll be handed a fact sheet on taxi fares from LGA so that you won't get ripped off and have an idea of the fare.
Other options include hiring a car service which will be more expensive, Super Shuttle which will be cheaper if there is only one person traveling but almost assuredly will take longer as they stop at multiple hotels.
In the afternoon between 4:30 and 5:30 the taxi cabs in NYC have their shift change. It can be VERY difficult to get a cab at these times. If you are in absolute need of a cab to get to the airport or something like that arrange for a car service ahead of time. I use Diamond car service and really like them. You may see cabs with their light on above that says out of service yet they are picking people up still. This is done when they are near the end of the shift, they will lean over and ask where you are going to see if it is on their way back to their garage to drop the cab off. New Yorkers can be rutheless when it comes to hailing a cab. You may see people walk up the street in the direction of traffic to "cut you off" especially if you are stuck there with your luggage on the street.
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.
Taxis are pretty expensive in Canada so we tend to avoid them as much as possible. However, we quickly found out that if you don't feel like hauling your suitcase on-board a packed bus or subway, taxis are the way to go in New York City! Going from La Guardia to our hotel located in Lower Manhattan, there was a $30 flat rate, which means you don't have to worry about the price going up even when you're stuck in traffic. There was no flat rate on the way back, but it only came to $40 for a 30 minute taxi ride, and that included the tip and the little extra we had to pay for the toll bridge (the driver gave us the option between the less crowded toll bridge or the slower free bridge). Our driver was very courteous and it didn't take long for us to realize why there was such an impressive quantity of taxis in NYC - they truly are a convenient way to get around!
New York City taxis are regulated by the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC). If you need taxi, just stand at a busy street corner and flag one down!
The ubiquitous NYC taxi cab is a huge part of the Big Apple landscape. And, used judiciously, they'll help you get around in town without busting your wallet up. And by judicious use, I mean that you use taxis only for medium distance trips. If you need to go 12-20 blocks and don't have time to walk, hail a cab. For long trips, try to stick with the subway.
And...WALK. It's a great city and I'd suggest walking wherever possible.
To hail a cab, just look for an empty and throw up your hand.
The cost, at regular weekday times, is something like $2.50 hail fee, and then 40 cents a quarter mile or 40 cents a minute stuck in traffic. So, for most short trips, you're talking $5-10, including a tip. Surcharges exist for late nights and early mornings.
As for airport traffic, the fare is "set" between Manhattan and JFK. The charge is $45 plus any applicable tolls. ($5, for example if your driver uses the tunnel from Queens into Manhattan). For trips from LaGuardia, the meter is what you pay... it should be comparable to the JFK charge, although in off hours, you might save a few bucks.
To travel between JFK and LaGuardia, it's approx $30. To travel between the Newark (NJ) airport and JFK, the cost is approx $95. Between the various terminals at JFK, the short cab ride will cost you $4 - $10.
I was advised by someone who had previously been to New York to take only a yellow cab to get from JFK airport to the centre of New York. As soon as we exited the airport, a man approached us to come with him and he would take us with another load of tourists to our hotel on a mini bus. It could have been ok, but we followed the advise we had been given and queued for a taxi, which did take a good half an hour but we felt that this was the safest way.
David Letterman has a joke that none of the taxi drivers in NYC speak English. If you want an English-speaking cabbie then you need to go to Baghdad!
While this is not strictly true, you indeed may find it difficult at times to communicate with some drivers. Such is the luck of the draw when dealing with one of the 12,053 taxis in New York!
All in all, I've found most of them to be courteous. Notice I didn't add the word "safe"! Though such "creative driving styles" can work in your favour. One time I was going to be late catching a train from Penn Station. So I asked the driver to see what he could do about getting me there quickly ... and he obliged! My stomach has never forgiven me but I did catch my train!
I've provided a link to the website of Peter Franklin, who is perhaps the most famous taxi driver in NYC next to Robert DeNiro. :-)
The simplest way into the city, thoguh certainly not the cheapest, is to take a taxi. The fare from JFK Airport is a fixed rate of $45 to go anywhere in Manhattan, plus tolls and tip. The trip from LaGuardia into the city is a metered one, with fares to Upper Manhattan ranging from $16 to $20, fares to Midtown ranging from $19 to $22, and fares to Lower Manhattan ranging from $22 to $26, plus tolls and tip. Fares from Newark Airport, which are metered don't include toll or tip, cost between $28 to $32 to midtown Manhattan.
There is an authorized taxi stand where a dispatcher directs passengers to the appropriate cab, so have the exact address of your destination handy (it also helps to have cross streets). The meter should read $2.00 at the start of your trip, though there is a 50 cent surcharge for trips commencing between 8PM and 6AM. Though drivers standing in the terminal soliciting travelers may offer better deals, beware: these people are unlicensed drivers. This means that they are not driving a standard yellow cab with a medallion on the roof, and may use unregulated (read: potentially rigged) meters, and are not required to follow the rules and regulations that govern licensed cabbies. Remember to always take your receipt.
Well, you have to ride a cab in NYC. It's a tradition. The fare starts at $2 and goes up from there. From Laguardia, you're looking at about $15-$25 to Manhattan depending on where exactly you're going. It's more like $35 from JFK and more from Newark. Try to share a cab to reduce the cost.
When you're on the street trying to hail a cab, look at the lights on the top. If the cab's number is lighted, then it's available. The lights on the side of the number are not the ones you're looking for- it's the cab number itself. Just stick your hand out and the driver will usually stop for you if he's available.
Tips are not mandatory, but the standard is 15-20 percent. Also, try to avoid tolls (take the 59th Street bridge to Laguardia, for example) because you'll be paying for them.