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 notmuch to it, just stick out your arm above your head, and pretendyou're the Statue of Liberty. When the numbers on the roof of the cabare lit, it is available. Yellow Medallion cabs are the only onesauthorized to pick up hails. Avoid cabs that are not the typical"yellow cab", especially if you are new to New York. It's a good ideato make sure all seat belts are working before closing the car doors.

Taxi cabs are required to take you to your destinationinside the metropolitan area. Record the ID number from any cabs thatyou have problems with and report them to the Taxi and LimousineCommission(TheTLC)

Livery cabs are the for-hire kind without the official yellowcolor and the medallion on the front hood. These are sometimes calledliveries, luxury cars, black cars,"gypsy cabs" (which isconsidered derogatory), limos, etc. These shouldn't be hailed fromthe street since it's technically against the TLC rules. If you rideone, always ask for the price to reach your destination beforeclosing the car door.

Taxi Fares

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:

As of 2010:Initial fare.............$2.50Each 1/5 mile (4 blocks).$0.40Each 1 minute idle.......$0.40Peak surcharge...........$1.00 (after 4pm until 8pm Mon-Fri)Night surcharge..........$0.50 (after 8pm until 6am)New York State tax.......$0.50Tolls....................$extraAdditional riders........FREEFlat-fare to JFK.........$45.00 (Manhattan to/from JFK, plus tolls)

The latest rate information can be found on the TLC's website.

Pay only what's on the meter, plus a 15-20 percent gratuity. There are additional charges for crossings outside the metropolitan area and New Jersey. Passengers are required to pay one way. If you are going to airports, there are set fees plus toll and tip. See our airport pages for more specific information on how to get to and from the airports.

Officially, taxicabs can take on only four riders -- 3 in the backseat, 1 in the front seat. Occasionally, the wider cabs will be willing to take 5 people, but they will usually ask the fifth person to duck down below the sight of the authorities. The famous large "Checker" cabs are pretty much a relic of the past, although you can still see some servicing the town at limousine service rates.

Taxi and Limousine Commission

To file a complaint or report lost property, call the TLC at thefollowing number: (212) 692-8294. For more information on taxi's inNYC,visit theDepartment of Transportation website. For lost property inquiriesyou can also go tothe lost property inquiry page on the TLC's websitewhere you will find guidelines on how to go about recovering your lostposessions.