Thursday, October 20, 2011

New York Taxi Cabs

Getting a taxi in New York is relatively easy unless it's Saturday night or pouring with rain, in which case they all seem to disappear.  Taxi rides are fairly cheap in the city, which is pretty much the only good thing about them!

In London all cab drivers have to complete 'The knowledge' before being able to drive people around the city.  This means they know exactly where they are going and the best way to get you there.  In New York however, it seems that anyone can drive a taxi and I have found that they often have no idea where they are going.  If you know the quickest route to your destination make sure you tell the driver. I also try to get them to repeat my destination as they often don't listen and I end up in the wrong place.  For safety reasons make sure to wait until you are inside the car before telling the driver where you are going.  

Every time I get a taxi in New York I feel as if I am taking my life into my own hands and am always surprised when I arrive at my destination in one piece.  Taxi drivers tend to be quite aggressive on the roads pulling in and out of traffic unnecessarily and stopping suddenly throughout the journey.  I hate to stereotype, but after living here for almost a year I have found the majority of drivers rude and unhelpful.

You can pay for your ride with cash or by credit card, but beware that you have to leave a tip if you pay with a card.  I don't mind tipping for good service, but I think it's very cheeky to expect a 20% tip if the journey was unsafe and the driver was rude.  

New York taxi cabs are a necessary evil, they are cheap and readily available most of the time.  I have come across some nice drivers, so hopefully you will too!


  1. Do you have to leave a tip if you pay by cash? How much tips do people give to cab drivers normally?

  2. Hi I Miss Macau,

    Yes, you are expected to leave a tip if you pay in cash. For short journeys I normally round up to the nearest dollar and then add an extra dollar, so if the ride is $7.20 I would give the driver $9.00.
    For longer trips and airport journeys you will need to leave more, 15-20% of the total fare.

    Thank you for your comments!