Hail a cab like a true New Yorker
Getting a cab
- The sign on the roof of the cab tells you if it’s free or not. When the number in the center is lit, the cab is available. There can also be lights either side of the number that say “Off duty.” If those are lit you know the drill.
- Cab drivers change shifts between 4pm and 5pm, so time your journey accordingly.
- Are you going uptown or downtown? Most avenues are one-way so it is easier to get a cab uptown if traffic is flowing that way. It will also be a cheaper ride.
Riding a cab
- Get in the backseat and tell your driver where you want to go. By law, drivers are required to take you to any destination within the city limits, including Brooklyn and Queens.
- When giving the driver the address, include the cross streets so they know which block to go to. Instead of saying, “674 5th Avenue,” for example, say, “5th between 53th and 54th Streets.”
- Cabs are supposed to take credit cards, and most of them do. But it’s worth checking if you don’t have any cash on you. If you are paying by card, use the machine in the backseat and add your tip to the total.
- Avoid stepping into traffic by exiting the cab curbside.
Published: October 21, 2014
Last edited: September 14, 2016