There are 13,000 official licensed, medallion owning yellow taxis, operating within New York city. There are also over 40,000 other for-hire transfer vehicles, such as coach hire, private hire or limo hire services as well as New Yorks own unique fleet of green coloured medallion suburban cabs so choosing a cab can be confusing.
New York City, also commonly referred to as “the big apple”, is one of the most populated cities in the United States with almost 9 million residents. Those living in New York City account for over 40% of the State of New York’s total citizenship.
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New York Taxicab Services
The NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission are the responsible body for regulating the city’s taxicab services. New York taxis are iconically pictured as yellow, however these are just the medallion central city of New York cabs. New York taxicabs are iconically pictured as yellow, but the colour of these indicates the services provided. The new fleet of medallion green cabs are available for pre-booked or flagged down fares but operate strictly outside of Manhattan.
New York Taxi Prices and Fees
A taxicab in New York would cost an estimated amount of $14.10 for a 5 mile journey, which includes a wait time of 5 minutes. On average this is slightly more than a Chicago cab would cost, but considerably cheaper than an average LA taxicab of the same distance and time. It is worth noting that taxi companies actually offer a flat taxi fare of $52.00 plus any tolls from or to JFK from or to anywhere in Manhattan.
The common understanding in New York city is that cab drivers can expect a 15-20% tip of the total fare. Paying a gratuity is not a necessity by law but it is very uncommon that a tip is not offered for a pleasant journey. Taxi driver tips are considered the norm because running a taxi service in New York is an expensive business before even generating any income due to licensing and vehicle costs. Also, if the driver helps with bags an additional $1 or $2 dollars tip can often be expected.
Popular Taxi Destinations – Estimated Prices
NYC Taxi Prices – Common Journeys
|LaGuardia Airport||Midtown Manhattan||$31|
|JFK Airport||Midtown Manhattan||$48|
|Newark Liberty Airport||Midtown Manhattan||$43|
Getting around Airports in New York
New York city is the home of many commercial airports; JFK, Newark Liberty & La Guardia are all based in NYC and are amongst the busiest in New York Metropolitan area although there are several more.
JFK airport is based in Queens, New York, just 12 miles southeast of Manhattan and is one of the busiest airport in North America in regards to total passenger numbers, international passengers as well as cargo freight shipments. In 2012, JFK airport served 49.3 million passengers.
Newark Liberty International Airport was the first major airport in the whole of the US and is located just 15 miles Southwest of Midtown Manhattan. In 2012, Newark Airport handled over 34 million passengers.
La Guardia is the busiest airport in the US which does not have any non-stop flight services to Europe. LaGuardia Airport is located in the northern part of Queens and handled 25.7 million passenger in 2012.
Between these three Airports; JFK, Newark and LaGuardia, they make up the largest airport city system in the United States. These three combined are also first in the whole world with respect to total flight operations but second in the world, following the UK’s London Airports, with total passengers handles.
NYC Medallion Taxicabs
These are the official city regulated medallion owning cabs which follow strict pricing rates authorised by The Taxi and Limousine Commission of New York. Similar to a black London Cab in the UK, these hire vehicles can be flagged down or ‘hailed’ from the sidewalk. Sometimes referred to as ‘Hailed Cabs’.
New York Yellow Cabs
The medallion taxicabs in Central New York are iconically bright yellow with a taxi sign on top of their roof. Medallion cabs are required by law to pick up any hailed fare to or from any destination within the city’s limits.
If the yellow taxi already has a passenger than the sign will not be lit up.
Within a couple of years you can expect every licensed yellow taxicab in New York to be the new Nissan NV200.
This is because the Nissan NV200, winner of the ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ competition, has now been confirmed as the mandatory taxicab for New York and have begun hitting the streets of New York. All medallion taxicab drivers in New York will be required to drive one of these NV200 cabs in order to operate within the city.
There is but one exception to this decision and that is allowing medallion taxicab drivers to continue using existing approved hybrid vehicles as by law the city must provide a percentage of hybrid, low emission, vehicles.
NYC Green Medallion Taxis
The fleet of green cabs in New York is a fairly recent addition to the NYC taxicab family. These cabs are licensed by the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission and Medallions are purchased on a three year permit for $1,500. Green cabs are allowed to pick up hailed fares from the side of the road as well as pre-booked journeys. The only difference between and yellow and green cab is, other than the cost in obtaining a medallion, the locations in which they operate.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission of New York plans to license 6,000 of these green cabs each year for the next three years (from 2013).
The introduction of these green cabs is intended to address the issue of a very limited number of available flag-gable cabs ever leaving the central city areas such as Manhattan and Central Heights due to the fact that work is more often in the busier parts of New York.
These Green taxicabs however are destined to be the solution to the New Yorks problem.
New York Coach Transfers
Coach, Buses of Jitneys are another great way to get around the city. There are many predefined routes with shuttle services running to various destinations, and are often running transfer services all day.
Shuttle coach services run from between and to all major New York airports; JFK, Newark and La Guardia. Other popular shuttle destinations include; The Strip, Grand Central Station, Penn Station and the Port Authority of NY.
Other private coach and bus hire services are available. These are a great choice for travellers in larger groups. Many firms like these also provide exceptional sightseeing tours all over New York. Coach hire with driver firms are often charged at an hourly rate for the drivers time and vehicle rental.
What to do in New York?
New York is one of the most visited places in the Earth and home to many world-famous locations and landmarks such as;
Times Square is a major hub for the world’s entertainment industry and has been recorded as the most visited tourist attraction in the World, entertaining over 40 million visitors annually. The mass of brightly illuminated billboards has become pretty iconic and has been featured in many movies and TV shows making a visit to Times Square is a must do for any tourist coming to New York. Also hosted at Times Square each year are New Yorks New year’s Eve Celebrations. A taxi from Broadway & Chambers Street to Times Square would cost an estimated $16.82.
The Empire State Building is a massive art deco inspired skyscraper consisting of 103 floors anding standing 1,454 feet high (spire included) and considered by some as one of the modern 7 wonders. When first built in 1932 it was the World’s tallest building, and kept that claim for almost 40 years. The building’s observation decks, both on the 86th and 102nd floor, are very popular, being visted by over 115 million people. Being such an American icon queuing lines can be expected and are ‘as legendary as the building itself’.
There is a fee to enter each and ticket sales alone often bring in more revenue than office space does. King Kong is a frequent visitor of the building although he neither queues or pays. To hire a taxi cab from Central Park to the Empire State Building you can expect to pay a taxi fare of around $14.05.
Brooklyn Bridge connects two main New York boroughs; Manhattan and Brooklyn. It was first constructed back in 1883 and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the America. It has since, in 1964, been named a National Historic Landmark and in 1972 Brooklyn Bridge also became a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. There is also a bicycle path and walkway across the bridge for all pedestrians, with walks across the bridge being enjoyed by many tourists.
The Statue of Liberty is a giant sculpture of Libertas, who is Roman Goddess of Freedom. She holds a torch and a book of law upon which the American Declaration of Independence is inscriped, a broken chain also lays by her feet iconising freedom further. The statue is located on Liberty island in the middle of New York Harbour. The Statue was built in France, and then transported and reassembled again in New York, as a gift to America from the French to recognise the frendship established during the American and French revolutions.
Central Park is a massive green area located in Central Midtown Manhattan. Central Park includes many other attractions; Belvedere Castle, Central Park Zoo and the Friedsam Memorial Carousel for example. A Taxi from New York JFK Airport to Central Park could cost upt. $55-$60.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest art museum in America, and one of the largest in the world. The Museum features more than 2 million displays from classical and modern artists and different periods or continents. Admission fees are ‘pay as you wish’ with $25 being the stated recommendation. A taxi from Grand Central to the Met Museum of Art would cost an estimated $11.70.
Ellis Island Immigration Museum, this facility provides a remarkable insight into the history of America and visitors are also able to search ship manifests for passenger names from the American family immigration History Centre.
The Yankee Stadium, is the home stadium for the Major League Baseball team the New York Yankees. A taxi cost of $26.44 is estimated for a journey from Grand Central to the Yankees Stadium.
Flushing Meadows-Corona park, a well-known location for the Golf US open is another popular resort for attractions. As is Madison Square Garden which hosts various indoor arena events throughout the year.
New York probably has more interesting monuments and exciting attractions than any other US city so it’s definitely worth a visit for those who enjoy travel and tourism.