Traveling by Taxi

NYC Taxi Tips: Taxis and luxury car services are widely available. Lyft and Uber are in frequent use. Curb is also used to book yellow cabs.

  • There are two colors of taxicabs in New York City:
    • Yellow taxis may travel anywhere within the 5 boroughs of NYC.
    • Green taxis may only travel to outer-borough (non-Manhattan) destinations in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx.
  • To hail a cab, step off of the curb and safely stand on the street, careful to avoid oncoming traffic. Raise your hand high to signal to taxis that you need a ride.
  • Look for taxis whose rooftop numbers are illuminated, which indicates that they do not currently have a customer.
  • It is customary to tip the taxi driver 10-20% of the total fare.
  • Your fare will include additional charges if you travel over certain bridges or through certain tunnels.
  • Most cabs can hold up to four people. The fare is per ride, not per person. There is no extra charge for more than one passenger.
  • There is no extra charge for luggage.
  • You can pay the fare in cash or with a credit/debit card.

Taxi Fare Calculation

  • There are no flat-fee fares within NYC; every fare is metered. The only exception is a trip from JFK airport into Manhattan, which is currently a flat rate of $52, plus tolls, surcharges, and tip. Trips between John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) and other New York City destinations are charged the standard metered fare.
  • Airport fees:
    • Airport Access Fee: $1.25 for pick up only at LaGuardia, Newark, and John F. Kennedy Airports
    • $2.50 for both drop off and pick up at LaGuardia, Newark, and John F. Kennedy airports
  • Here are the nitty-gritty details of how your fare is calculated:
    • $2.50 initial charge
    • Plus 50 cents per 1/5 mile when traveling above 12mph or per 60 seconds in slow traffic or when the vehicle is stopped
    • 50 cents MTA State Surcharge for all trips that end in New York City or Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange or Putnam Counties.
    • 30 cents Improvement Surcharge
    • 50 cents overnight surcharge 8pm to 6am
    • $1.00 rush hour surcharge from 4pm to 8pm on weekdays, excluding holidays
    • New York State Congestion Surcharge of $2.50 (Yellow Taxi) or $2.75 (Green Taxi and FHV) or 75 cents (any shared ride) for all trips that begin, end or pass through Manhattan south of 96th Street

I hope you found these NYC Taxi Tips helpful. Feel free to leave questions in the comments. 

Here is an NYC Taxi fare calculator that will estimate your fare between two locations.

While you’re here, why not check out our podcast, the Six Minute TRAVEL Fix!

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