Logo   New York City Taxi




New York City has tens of thousands of yellow taxis. Travelers in twos and threes will find them useful and economical; single travelers will find them convenient for some trips.

Taxi drivers are required by law to accept any well-behaved passenger, to run the taximeter, and to take the passenger where he or she wants to go. (That may sound self-evident, but think it over—it's not.)

Here's a description of the taxi ride experience in New York:

1. You see a yellow taxi with a taxi medallion (metal plate bearing a number) attached to its hood. Look at the taxi number sign on top of the car:

New York City Taxi Sign

This sign gives the medallion number and the status of the taxi. If the number is illuminated, as in the photo, the taxi is available for hire. Wave to the driver and hop in.

If the number is not illuminated, the taxi probably already has a passenger (a "fare"), or is on call to an address, and is not available.

If the "Off Duty" signs at the sides are illuminated, the taxi is not available.

Once you get in and sit in the seat, a light may flash to take your photograph for purposes of crime prevention. (Taxi drivers are regularly asaulted in New York.)

Look at the taximeter mounted above the instrument panel of the car. It should read $0.00. If it doesn't, tell the driver "Please zero your meter." The driver should start the meter when the trip starts.

The "drop charge" (initial charge) is $2.50. The final fare depends on the distance traveled and the time it takes. The left side of the meter shows the fare. The right side shows "Extras," which may be "rush hour" charges of 50¢ to $1.50 imposed by the city government, or highway or bridge tolls, or charges for luggage put in the trunk. The driver should be able to explain the extras.

The driver should take you to your destination by the shortest practicable route. In some cases, a longer route may be faster because of heavy traffic on the shortest route. The driver should ask your permission to take a longer route. Some drivers try to raise the fare by taking longer routes, so you may save money by knowing something about the route you're taking.

At the end of your ride, you may pay the fare in cash or by credit card. You should be given a receipt. It's customary to give the driver a tip of about 15% for acceptable service, so if the fare on the meter reads $10, you should pay about $11.50.

If you're dissatisfied with the service, note the taxi's medallion number (posted inside the car, on the illuminated roof sign, and on the taxi medallion, a small metal plate permanently attached to the hood of the car) and the time of your ride, and contact the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission to register a complaint.

The iconic New York City taxi, seen in countless movies, was the large Ford Crown Victoria sedan, a model also popular as police cruisers. The "Crown Vic" is no longer being manufactured, so the Crown Vic is following the former icon, the Checker cab, into hackney history.

The new most-common taxicab model is the small Ford SUV hybrid, but many other models, including numerous Toyotas, are now also in use.

New York City Buses

New York Subways

New York Transport




New York City Taxicab

The iconic Ford Crown Victoria taxicab...
now on its way out.


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