NYC Taxi Tips

It’s nearly impossible to walk a few blocks in New York City and not see a yellow cab. There are over 10,000 taxis in New York City and while it may be one of the more expensive ways to travel, it is also the most convenient and most safe at night. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, there are a few things you need to keep in mind while riding in a New York City Taxi. Everyone may know to refrain from smoking and to wear a seat belt, but some things may not be as obvious…

Finding a cab

  • Hail a cab by standing at a street corner in the direction you want to be going in and stick your hand straight out. It may be harder to get a cab during peak hours so don’t be discouraged when taxis zoom by you.
  • Accept only yellow taxis with a TLC medallion on their hood. Taking other vehicles will cost you more money and aren’t as safe.
  • It is important to note that an empty cab will have its numbers on the top illuminated (pictured left below), while an occupied cab will not (pictured right below). Also keep a lookout to see if the “Off Duty” light is illuminated or not.

Taxi Fares

Initial fare………….$2.50

Each 1/5 mile (4 blocks).$0.40
Each 1 minute idle…….$0.40
Peak surcharge………..$1.00 (after 4pm until 8pm Mon-Fri)
Night surcharge……….$0.50 (after 8pm until 6am)
Additional riders……..FREE

Rides outside NYC

  • The above fares apply only to trips within NYC and to Newark Airport.
  • Trips oustide these zones will result in separate flat rates, which can be negotiated with the driver but don’t expect it to be cheap.


  • Pay the amount on the meter and a tip even if it isn’t technically mandatory
  • You should tip your driver 10-20% depending on the quality of service

These are the basics for riding NYC taxi cabs. Follow these simple procedures and you’ll have a safe, easy ride to wherever your destination may be. For more information check out New York City Taxi Tips and Hints


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