NYC Taxi (Cabs)
Taxi cabs are both loved and hated by New Yorkers. They serve as a quick and easy means of transportation across Manhattan, a route not amply served by the subways. The downside with having an abundance of cabs is the traffic that results. Most traffic-jams in mid-town are speckled with many of the over 10,000 yellow cabs that service the city.
Hailing a Cab
The act of flagging down a cab is called "hailing"; there's not much to it, just stick out your arm above your head. When the numbers on the roof of the cab are lit, it is available. Avoid cabs that are not the typical "yellow cab", especially if you are new to New York. It's a good idea to make sure all seat belts are working before closing the car doors.
Taxi cabs are required to take you to your destination inside the metropolitan area. Record the ID number from any cabs that you have problems with and report them to the Taxi and Limousine Commission (The TLC).
Cabs take both cash and credit/debit cards. If you're paying cash it's a good idea to have small bills because the cabbies can't usually break anything higher than $20. While cabs are relatively expensive for a single person, they can actually be a bargain with 3 or more riders. The rates for taxicabs are as follows:
Each 1/5 mile (4 blocks).$0.40
Each 1 minute idle.......$0.40
Peak surcharge...........$1.00 (after 4pm until 8pm Mon-Fri)
Night surcharge..........$0.50 (after 8pm until 6am)
New York State tax.......$0.50
Flat-fare to JFK.........$52.00 (Manhattan to/from JFK, plus tolls)
Pay only what's on the meter, plus a 15-20 percent gratuity.
Trips Beyond the City
For a trip beyond the limits of New York City, except Westchester or Nassau Counties, or Newark Airport, the fare shall be a flat rate (a flat rate is a definite amount fixed between the driver and the passenger at the start of the trip). This flat rate shall be negotiated prior to the trip and entered into the meter.
Problems with a New York Taxi
If you ever have any problems with a New York Taxi, call 311 or file a complaint online. New York taxi drivers are required to take you to any destination in the five boroughs. They are occasionally experienced drivers who didn't want to take me to destinations in Queens or Brooklyn..