New York Taxis
Taxis are cheap and a great way to travel in New York. The base rate is $2.50 and 50 cents for every three blocks. You can get a taxi on the street if the sign is lit. If you want to travel more luxuriously, you can take a limousine. These are slightly more expensive, but much more elegant. Limos are not equipped with a meter, so you pay the agreed-upon amount discussed in advance.
There are always taxis waiting at JFK Airport. If you do not want to pay too much, take a yellow cab. Please note that taxis must offer a flat rate from JFK to Manhattan. However travelling from Manhattan to JFK they are free to charge more.
How to use New York Taxis
To hail a cab in the streets of Manhattan you just raise your hand. The middle light on top of the taxi will be on when it’s free. If the light is out, the taxi is taken. When the taxi is “off-duty”, the off duty light will be lit.
When you get in a New York taxi, you never tell the driver the address of where you wish to go. Rather, you provide the cross streets or intersection for where you are heading (e.g. 9th Avenue and 42nd Street). Additionally, upon arrival at your destination, you can still provide directions for where you want to get dropped off in order to get closer to where you want to go. Try to hail a cab that is driving towards the direction you want to go. This will save you time and money.
Travelling with more people
Officially 4 people are allowed in a taxi, but there needs to be enough room for the suitcases. If you have a lot of luggage you’ll need to take 2 taxis. The best is to get the shuttle bus or larger bus when with bigger groups.
Travelling at night
Travelling with a taxi at night is often the easiest and safest option. There is a small surcharge to the price. Between 20:00 – 06:00 you pay 0.50 cent extra. Also from Monday to Friday between 16:00 – 20:00, which is the peak traffic hour, you pay 1 dollar extra.
Paying in the taxi
You can pay in the taxi in cash or with a credit card. When paying in cash don’t forget to tip. When you pay with credit card tipping has been made very easy. Before swiping your card, the display shows you the total amount and an option to tip 20%, 25% or 30%. Click one of the options or alternatively add a smaller tip manually with the keypad.
Manhattans 12,000 yellow cabs have been joined by lime-green cabs. These taxis are only allowed to pick up customers in the northern parts and neighborhoods (such as Harlem) of Manhattan and the outer boroughs (The Bronx, Queens & Brooklyn).