The wellknown Yellow Cab. Used to be red and green in the early 1900’s but were soon made yellow because they can be seen better in the dark and from a distance. And they’re everywhere, well, at least, in Manhattan.
Taking a taxi is a quick and easy way to travel through New York City. But it is not always fun and comfortable. On one of our rides we yelled STOP because the lunch we had had an hour before came back up (picture this: foot on the gas, followed by foot on the brake and those two movements continuously). And another time it took us 10 minutes to take the last 100 meters to our destination (which at that time we didn’t know) because we were stuck in traffic. Oh yeah, and then there was also the time that our taxidriver didn’t know where we wanted to go and took us past it 3 times. He then parked his cab almost in front of where we had to be to ask for the directions.
But there were also some good laughs, like when we just could not explain to the taxidriver why on earth we came all the way from Amsterdam to go to a supermarket in Brooklyn that he did not even know was there. And the time when we had a serious talk with our taxidriver about the crisis, the yuppies in Manhattan, the prices of the houses that have gone sky high, happiness, health and many more good and special things. We fellt like giving him a big hug when we got out. But we thought he’d appreciate a tip more. In short, taking a cab in New York can make for some memorable moments!
But first you have to find your way into one. Which is not always easy. Actually, all you have to do is step off the curb and put your arm in the air. And watch the light on the cab. Cause when the middle light is lit, the "medaillon" number, then the taxi is available. When all the lights are lit, then it’s off duty. When none of the lights are on, it’s already taken. Well, at least, that is how it should work. But we know from experience that it is not always so.... You can’t call for a cab in New York. But you can call a private carservice.
Starting fare of a taxi ride is $2.50. On top of that comes $0.40 per 1/5 mile (when going over 6 mph) or per 2 minutes that you’re not moving or going slower than 6 mph. Between 8 pm and 6 am there’s an additional $0.50. During rushhour (weekdays between 4 and 8 pm) $1.00 is added on.Tol is to be paid by the passenger (you pay less if the taxidriver has a so-called E-ZPass on his window). Most cabs take creditcards. And do not forget the tip!
Passengers of Yellow Cabs have special rights, the City of New York says so. To name some, you have the right to:
- point the cabdriver to a better, shorter or preferred direction;
- travel within any destination within the 5 boroughs of New York City;
- a well taken care of English speaking driver who knows the streets in Manhattan and who knows how to get to the most popular destinations in and around New York City;
- a cabdriver who knows the rules and obeys by them.;
- an airconditioned ride, or not;
- a silent ride, so without the sound of the radio, phone or tv;
- a smokefree and/or incense free car;
- a neat and clean seat;
- a neat and clean trunk;
- a driver who only uses the horn in case of an emergency.
If not all these conditions are met you have the right to refuse to give a tip. And if your luck really ran out and you feel cheated, you can always make your complaint on phonenumber 311 (local). Make sure to remember the driver’s medaillon number.