Taxis are a convenient way to get around New York City. New York City taxi cabs are yellow with roof medallions indicating the taxi number. The Big Apple’s Yellow Taxicabs operate 24 hours a day and provide door-to-door transportation services. Taxis can be hailed from anywhere in New York City. As long as the taxi is available, the taxi will pick you up.
Official New York City Taxis
Official New York City taxis are licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). These iconic yellow taxis all carry a number on the medallion on their roof and have their rates printed on their window. Visitors should never accept from any taxi service other than those of a licensed taxi.
Taxicabs accept cash or credit cards. An initial minimum fare is charged when the user enters the cab. After the initial fare, the price for transportation increases based on distance and duration. It is common courtesy to add a 15-20% tip to the meter price at the end of the trip. It should also be noted that Bridge and tunnel tolls are not included in the taxi’s metered fare, and cost extra. Taxis also have a limit of 4 passengers. As a rule of thumb, you should always make sure that the meter is turned on once you enter the taxi. This will avoid being scammed by dishonest taxi drivers that try to charge visitors more than the ride is worth.
Hailing New York City Taxicabs
When hailing a New York City taxicab, it’s important to know if the taxi is available or not. To know if a taxi is available, you should look at the taxi’s medallion. If the light in the medallion is off, then the taxi currently has passengers and is unavailable. If the center part of the medallion, indicating the taxi number is lit, then the taxi is available. If all the lights of the medallion are on, then the driver is off-duty. You can only hail a cab that is available.
The Taxi Rider’s Bill of Rights was created by the TLC as a way to protect consumers. It is posted in every official NYC taxi. According to the taxi rider’s bill of rights, taxi drivers have the right to:
- A driver who has and uses E-ZPass at all toll crossings that accept it, and who charges passengers the discounted E-Z Pass rate;
- Pay for your ride with credit/debit card;
- Go to any destination in NYC, Westchester, Nassau, or Newark Airport;
- Direct the route taken: The most direct route or one of your choice;
- A safe and courteous driver who obeys all traffic laws;
- A knowledgeable driver who speaks English and knows City geography;
- Air conditioning or heat on request;
- A noise free trip: no horn honking or radio;
- Clean air. smoke and scent free air;
- Working seatbelts for all passengers;
- A clean taxicab: interior, exterior and partition;
- Be accompanied by a service animal;
- A driver who does not use a cell phone while driving (hand-held or hands free);
- Decline to tip for poor service.