There are over 13,500 officially licensed, medallion owning yellow taxis operating within New York City, many of these and other services also provide transfers to and from JFK International, so finding JFK taxis shouldn’t be a problem. 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 that service the outer boroughs.
New York City, also commonly referred to as “The Big Apple”, is one of the most populated cities in the United States with around 8.5 million residents.
Getting to the Airports in New York
New York City is home to many commercial airports, most notably JFK, Newark Liberty & La Guardia. They are amongst the busiest in the New York Metropolitan area and all appear in the Top 20 busiest airports in America.
JFK Airport is based in Queens, New York, just 12 miles southeast of Manhattan and is one of the busiest airport in North America; 2014 saw over 53 million passengers pass through its terminals.
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. There are 3 passenger terminals to service the 30+ airlines that operate from the airport.
LaGuardia Airport is located in the northern part of Queens and handled almost 27 million passengers over more than 300,000 flights in 2014.
These three Airports make up the largest airport city system in the United States. As of September 2015, between them they had serviced over 1.2 million flights over the previous 12 months.
New York Taxicab Services
A Medallion is required to legally pick up passengers hailing a cab from the street in NYC. The iconic bright Yellow taxis service all of Manhattan, whilst the bright Green Boro cabs strictly operate in the outer boroughs (excluding the airports). All of the cabs are licensed and their services are regulated by The NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, (TLC).
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, the sign will not be lit up.
There are plans to ensure that the entire fleet of NYC Taxis are all the same model of car, but as of November 2015, there are currently 35 approved models on the roads.
The Nissan NV200 was the winner of the ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ competition, and has now been confirmed as the mandatory taxicab, despite not being a hybrid vehicle. It was decided that drivers would need to switch to using the chosen vehicle with just one exception to this rule; Medallion taxicab drivers are able 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 cabs ever really leaving the central city areas as this is where more work tends to be.
New York & JFK Taxis Prices and Fees
A taxicab in New York would cost an estimated amount of $18.60 for a 5 mile journey, which includes a wait time of 5 minutes and a 20% tip. It’s worth noting that taxi companies actually offer a flat taxi fare of $52.00, plus any tolls, between JFK and 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, but it’s very uncommon that a tip is not offered for a pleasant journey. If the driver helps with your bags, an additional $2 tip should be added.
Popular Taxi Destinations – Estimated Prices for Popular Journeys
|LaGuardia Airport||Midtown Manhattan||$40|
|JFK Airport||Midtown Manhattan||$50-$70|
|Newark Liberty Airport||Midtown Manhattan||$60|
*These taxi price rates are an estimate from November 2015 and are subject to change. You should use these prices as a guide and where possible, confirm the prices when you book or agree a fare at the taxi rank before getting into a taxi.
New York Coach Transfers
Buses of Jitneys and Coaches 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 or families. 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?
Need some inspiration for your trip to The Big Apple? Below are just a few iconic landmarks for you to visit.
Taxi Cost from JFK: $52 Flat Rate to Manhattan
Times Square is a major hub for the world’s entertainment industry and has been recorded as one of 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 a must do for any tourist in New York. Visit for the New Years celebrations for an experience like no other!
The Empire State Building
Taxi cost from Newark Airport: $60-$70
The Empire State Building is a grand art deco inspired skyscraper, consisting of 103 floors and stands more than 1,400 foot high (spire included). For almost 40 years, it stood proudly as the tallest building in the world and more than 80 years after its construction, it still attracts millions of visitors each year. The building’s observation decks, located on the 86th and 102nd floor, are very popular and offer unrivalled views of the Manhattan Skyline, whilst the exclusive 103rd floor plays hosts to VIPs, celebrities and dignitaries alike.
Taxi Cost from LaGuardia Airport: $45
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 been named a National Historic Landmark and in 1972, Brooklyn Bridge also became a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. There is a bicycle path and walkway across the bridge for all pedestrians, with locals and tourists alike all enjoying the fresh East River breeze as they make the crossing.
Statue of Liberty
Taxi Cost from JFK: $75
The Statue of Liberty depicts Libertas, the Roman Goddess of Freedom. She stands proudly as a representation of American Independence, with a broken chain gathered by her feet, epitomising freedom. The statue is located on Liberty island in the middle of New York Harbour and was a gift to America from the French to recognise the friendship established during the American and French revolutions.
Taxi Cost from Newark Airport: $70
Central Park is a beautiful urban park located in Central Midtown Manhattan. Take a stroll around the Conservatory Garden, visit the Belvedere Castle, feed the Sea Lions at Central Park Zoo or view the glistening waters from Gapstow Bridge. From playgrounds and sculptures to guided tours and ice skating, there is something on all year round, making Central Park a must visit hot spot.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Taxi Cost from LaGuardia Airport: $40-$50
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 spanning many time periods and several continents. The recommended admission fees are $12-$25, or free to Met Members, and include complimentary entrance to the museums exhibitions as well as The Cloisters Museum and Gardens.
Ellis Island Immigration Museum
Taxi Cost from Newark Airport: $42
Ellis Island Immigration Museum provides a remarkable insight into the history of America. Visitors are able to search ship manifests for passenger names from the American family immigration History Centre and listen to stories about those who made the momentous journey. The beautiful art deco building is part of the Liberty tour, which includes the aforementioned Statue of Liberty.
The Yankee Stadium
Taxi Cost from JFK: $75
The Yankee Stadium, is the home stadium for the Major League Baseball team the New York Yankees. This is a must visit for any sports fans, if only to just experience the electric atmosphere of a home game! Take a pre game tour of the stadium, hold your birthday party here or simply enjoy the best beer and chilli dogs in NYC!
Madison Square Gardens
Taxi Cost from LaGuardia: $45
Madison Square Gardens is the place to go to catch a multitude of indoor arena events throughout the year. Watch a heavyweight boxing match, laugh until you cry at your favourite comedian or dance the night away to your music idols.