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One of the most recognizable images of New York is the one provided by its fleet of colorful yellow taxis that travel all its streets at all hours and are known as “Yellow Cabs”.
The New York taxi fleet is usually made up of large cars, which are usually quite comfortable and clean, some even have a screen to see advertising and the current position by GPS, with which we can control that they do not deviate intentionally from the destination to take a detour.
Taxis can take you anywhere in the five districts that make up New York, and they cannot complain as they are obliged to offer the service.
It is usually very easy to take a taxi, as it is crowded with them all over the city, especially in Manhattan, although when it rains it is often difficult to catch one, since everyone usually makes use of it.
How to know if a taxi in New York is free or not
We can see if a taxi is free just by looking at the lights at the top. If you see only the light in the center illuminated with a number, it will indicate that it is free. On the other hand, if any light on the sides is also on, it will mean that it is not in service, normally the text “off duty” can be read. On the other hand, if you do not have any lights on, you are doing some service.
By raising your hand in front of a taxi we will indicate our intention to take it, for that it will be essential to check if it is free. The maximum number of passengers that can be offered is 4 people, unless we take one with more seats.
New York Taxi Fares
In general, taxis in New York can be considered cheap, especially when compared to other North American cities.
Fares are set by the meter, except if we move from Manhattan to JFK airport, which is stipulated a fixed rate.
• Flag lowering: $ 2.50. Section 1 Km .: $ 1.24.
• For each minute of waiting (or circulation at less than 20Km / h): $ 0.50.
• City taxes: $ 0.50 each way.
• Night supplement (from 20:00 to 06:00 hours): $ 1.24 per km.
• Rush hour supplement (daily from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.): $ 2.44 per km.
Examples of the rate that the taxi charges us to travel to the different airports from Manhattan (tolls and tips are not included).
• JFK: $ 52.
• La Guardia: Between $ 30 and $ 40.
• Newark: Between $ 50 and $ 70.
When paying, the most normal thing is to leave a tip that will be around 15% of the total, if we don't want the taxi driver to get angry. It is very common that the taxi driver does not carry change, so the most normal thing is to round the amount.
As a reference, a normal journey through Manhattan usually costs between $ 10 and $ 15.