Users Guide to NYC Taxi Cabs

People on the streets, tourists especially, make Taxi Cabs in NYC seem a lot more difficult and confusing then they need to be.

So I figured I’d start by putting together a list of things you need to know before trying to hail a cab. The list is short for now, but it’ll hopefully grow 🙂

  • – Get. In. The. Cab. — NYC Taxis are notorious for pulling over and asking you “Where are you going?”, and when you tell them someplace inconvenient, such as the airport or Staten Island, they quickly drive away, saying they are unavailable.
    So when the cab pulls up, get in first, and THEN tell them where you want to go. It is illegal for them to throw you out of the cab if your destination is within the five boroughs.

    It is against the law to refuse a person based on race, disability, or a destination in New York City. A taxicab driver is required to drive a passenger to any destination in the five boroughs.  (§54-20)

  • Look at the light on top — Stop trying to hail cabs that aren’t available. All taxis have a little light on the top of the cab, on which it has the Taxi ID #. Below is a list of the three states it could be in. If that light is lit up (Top), then the cab is available. Light off means someone is already using the cab (Middle). Light on & Off Duty light on means they aren’t currently operating (Bottom). Here is an example of what this should look like:
    photo credit: artofmanliness.com

    photo credit: artofmanliness.com

    Laws above where taken from the NYC Taxi Rulebook.

Photo credit: teamtaxi.com

Photo credit: teamtaxi.com

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