Intro to New York City TaxisHailing a New York City Taxi
Hailing a cab is as simple as stepping off the curb and holding out your arm -- it only gets complicated when you need to figure out why many New York taxis seem to drive by without stopping for you. The trick is in the lights atop the cab.
- When just the center is lit, highlighting the medallion number, the cab is available.
- When the medallion number, as well as the side lamps are lit, the cab is off-duty.
- When no lights are lit, the cab already has a fare they are bringing to a destination.
- A maximum of four passengers can ride in a cab.
- A child under 7 is allowed to sits on a passenger's lap in the rear seat in addition to the 4 passenger limit.
- A passenger is allowed to sit in the front seat with the driver when three passengers have filled the rear.
- It is always more difficult to get a cab when it's raining -- so sometimes it can be quicker (and you'll even get less drenched) if you head to the subway.
- New York City is unique in the fact that you cannot pre-arrange a pickup by a New York taxi. If you want to call for a ride (rather than hail a cab) you will need to contact a New York City car or livery service.
New York Taxi Fares
- Minimum taxi fare is $2.50.
- Additional charges are $0.40 per 1/5 of a mile (at or above 6 mph) or for 2 minutes of time stopped or traveling below 6 mph.
- The night-time surcharge is $0.50 for rides beginning from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.
- The peak hour weekday surcharge is $1.00 and is charged for rides from 4 - 8 p.m. weekdays.
- There is no additional charge for luggage and no per passenger surcharge.
- Any tolls during the ride are the responsibility of the passenger, in addition to the metered fare.
- If the driver uses E-ZPass to pay the fare (transponder on the front windshield) the passenger pays the reduced E-ZPass fare.
- Flat fares from JFK to Manhattan are $45: there is no night surcharge and the meter does not need to be run.
- There is a $15 surcharge for fares to Newark Airport, in addition to return tolls.
- Some, but not all, New York taxis currently accept credit cards, though processing can be slow.
New York Taxi Rider's Bill of Rights
- As a taxi rider, you have the right to:
- Direct the destination and route used;
- Travel to any destination in the five boroughs of the City of New York;
- A courteous, English-speaking driver who knows the streets in Manhattan and the way to major destinations in other boroughs;
- A driver who knows and obeys all traffic laws;
- Air-conditioning on demand;
- A radio-free (silent) trip;
- Smoke and incense-free air;
- A clean passenger seat area;
- A clean trunk
- A driver who uses the horn only when necessary to warn of danger; and
- Refuse to tip, if the above are not complied with.