Taxis, New York City
We took a taxi from the airport to Manhattan...it costed us a flat fee of US$45 plus tolls plus tip (around US$55 in the end I think)... The taxis seem to be fairly quick and there are heaps of them waiting at the airport, although I think a better option is the subway and Skytrain...
Okay, so I thought New York was like "the city that never sleeps" or something like that. Well, she might not sleep, but she does take a break. The friendly lady at the metro told me I could take a bus / train "anytime" but she meant I could only take a train up until about two o'clock on the weekdays, 11:30 p.m. on Sundays. Several trains also stop running at night, too, or change to just express trains. Bother someone who obviously lives there and make sure you're not getting on a freaking non-stop to Far Rockaway. You might feel stupid asking, but you'll feel stupider taking a cab back from freaking Queens.
If you are traveling in a group of more than two people and don't plan on going very far, it may be cheaper and more convenient to take a taxi as opposed to the subway. Subway fare in New York is more than $2 per person per one-way ride, so you'll have to do the math. Taxis in New York are plentiful and easy to hire. Their fares are also pretty reasonable in spite of what many people might think. Taxis in the city are also strictly regulated as far as the fares they are allowed to charge and driver conduct, making them a safe choice.
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
While NYC taxis have a reputation for being wild rides with rude drivers, lately they have become quite clean and less scary. Unlike in Chicago where the drivers barely look at the road while chatting on their cell phones, NYC cabbies can no longer talk unless hands free.
Cabs in NYC are not cheap. Cross town rides tend to cost more than going up or downtown. Metered fares start at $2.40 with $.40 increments. There is a night surcharge of $.50 (b/w 8 PM & 6 AM) & a peak hour weekday surcharge of $1 (M -F 4 PM-8 PM). There is no charge for baggage or to the airport (except a $15 to Newark).
When the middle light on top of the taxi is on, it means the cab is for hire. If the side lights are on, the cab is off duty. If off duty, he/she may still pick you up if you are going in the right direction. No light means they are occupied.
To hail a cab, raise your arm. There are taxi lines in some areas (i.e. Grand Central Station). If you are shy about hailing a cab, you can always tip the doorman at a hotel.
NYC cabbies do tend to be immigrants, but with impressive educations. My last cab driver was an architect from Russia who has been in NY for 16 years.
Ever wonder why you can’t get a cab b/w 5 & 6pm? Well, the answer isn’t just "because it’s rush hour." Remarkably enough, and although demand is at its highest at 5pm., drivers are in the midst of a shift change precisely at this time. The reason? Drivers want part of the lucrative afternoon rush hour.
Taxis - You will either spend a fortune sitting in traffic going nowhere or praying you will survive the dodging in and out of "high speed" traffic without the use of signals other than the horn.
But in good times, Taxis can be the cheapest and most efficient way to get from one place to another in NYC (if you think the fare is high, just try the same ride in SF).
TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM THE AIRPORT
If you stay in Manhattan you have several transportation choices.
You can take a taxi for $40.00 and tolls $4-7 and tip
OR take the subway/ bus for $2.00
BUT... the best way to se New York is to get into Manhattan via an airport bus
The New York airport bus is the nicest way to get in. It costs $10.00 - $15.00
[No tip is required}. You will come in to NYC via LaGuardia, JFK or Newark. You
Will drive into Manhattan from Queens or Brooklyn or New Jersey. Here is the
Website for the bus.
I usually take the subway or the airport bus. The airport bus stops in front of Grand central terminal on the east side and the port authority on the west side. In either case you are left in midtown on 42nd street. I prefer the bus because I like the service and the views in And out of the city.
GETTING AROUND. you can buy a one day pass for $7.00. If you are here for a few days I highly recommend buying the weekly unlimited metro card for $21.00. The unlimited card is good for 7 days and you can use the MTA buses and subways as much as you want. You can buy the metro card in any subway station from a vending machine or token booth clerk.
Subway maps are free
From token booths, if they have them in stock.
There are big red double Decker buses, but I recommend taking the public buses,
You will see much more. You can get a bus map from the driver…sometimes.
I found this the best way to get back to your hotel after shopping or a night out, they were so cheap compared to the black taxi's in London. One downside is some of the drivers seemed to be unsure of their way around, but its not a big problem.
In the daytime the subway is also a good way to get about, its chaep and very easy to navigate.
From the airport though get a limo, if there are a few of you its as cheap as a cab!
You just have to take a Yellow cab, even if you have nowhere to go!
We stayed near Times Square, and when leaving NYC, We could easily have walked to Penn station, but we took a cab.
We had a great conversation with the driver, it was a Sunday, and he had been to church that morning -(amazed that we hadnt may I add) and played us some really cool Gospel music which he sings in his church!
He asked about Man Utd - but thats another story!
He left us with the thought, that not everyone is so bad in New York, and not to stereotype so much - Travelling does broaden the mind!
Note to hailing cabs: Now how do you know if a cab is available? On top the funny "hat" these cabs wear that can have advertisements on it - well, if it's lighted up - the cab is empty and available. IF NOT, it's occupied or off duty. Another note, some places have a convenient Taxi lines on the street - in particular near Penn Station/ Madison Square Garden area.
When we left Pen Station, we stood by Madison Square Gardens for about 45 minutes in a long queue with New Year’s Eve revelers, waiting for a cab. We were excited to be catching a cab… much like the first time we caught a black taxi in London!
We jumped in and told the driver where we were going, and he (frustratingly) started to drive off and then chose to tell us that he couldn’t get us anywhere near our hotel that night as it was all blocked off due to the celebrations at Times Square… and he chose to tell us this after driving us for a block… so charged us $4 and then gave us no change from our $5!
So an extremely short and expensive wasted journey.
We had to source our own way to the hotel in a city we didn’t know and had just arrived in.
We did catch a cab another day, to the American Museum of Natural History.
We had tried to go to the Intrepid first, but it was closed unfortunately, so we asked the cabbie to take us to the museum instead.
This cabbie, unlike the first cabbie we had, was chatty and friendly.... the cars are safe and it is a good way - albeit expensive - to get around.
Although New York is a great city to explore on foot we found our best friends were the Yellow cabs. Once we had the confidence to flag a cab down we were doing it all the time. It was a great way of getting from Central Park to say Wall Street in a very short space of time. We found them to be cheap too, although the cab drivers were not too friendly,
Go on, wave down a famous Yellow cab!
The famous yellow cabs. Who can imagine New York City without them!!! But there's something you may not know. If you tell the driver where you want to go before you found youself inside the taxi he may still refuse to take you there, but if you're inside the car he can't do anything, 'cause he already accepted you as his passenger. So if you go to Brooklyn, Queens or elsewhere far from Manhattan, sqeeze youself in first
On our first trip to NYC , when I was just a boy !! we basically took taxi cabs everywhere because I was too scared to walk arund Manhatten! You will never be waiting longer for a cab in New York , they are EVERYWHERE
!! . Most drivers will also give you plenty of info to help you make the most of your holiday
A useful fallback when you've had enough of walking. The taxis are ubiquitous, and in fact outnumber other road traffic. The prices are less than in the UK.
You must hail them from the correct side of the road, as they will not do a U turn to pick you up.