November 3, 2011

NYC Taxi MedallionYou see a NYC taxi with its rooftop lights on, try to hail it, and it flies right past you. Yet a second taxi with the exact same lighting situation picks you up. WHY?

You aren’t alone in being confused.  According to the NYC TLC (Taxi & Limousine Commission), NYC yellow cabs have 2 lights on the rooftop:

Medallion Number — this is in the center. If it’s ON, then the taxi is available most of the time.

Off-Duty Lights — there are two of these, with one on either side of the Medallion Number.

There are four possible combinations of these two sets of lights, and it’s confusing. Read more…

Filed under: NYC Public Transportation,Taxis — Tags: , , , — mtohn @ 3:38 pm
February 23, 2010

Yesterday the NYC MTA announced that it was going to cut 1,000 jobs as an effort to manage a huge revenue shortfall. In December, the shortfall was estimated at $400 million. A few days ago, MTA Chairman reported that the deficit is now about $800 million.

Where are these job cuts coming from? 600 of them are administrative staff from different MTA divisions, and they make up about 15% of the non-union employees. The other 450 staff are NYC subway station agents. Get this, though, those 600 admin jobs somehow create a savings of $50 million. How does that work? Read more…

February 22, 2010

Have you ever been tempted to ask a stranger to share a cab? Well now you can.

NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC)’s one-year test of a Group Ride program started a few weeks ago. Three Group Ride Stands are already active and three more are being planned.

How it Works
Two to four passengers can pay a per-person flat fare of $3 – $4 to share a taxi from a Group Ride stand to a common destination and you can get out anywhere along that route.

Who Tips?
Saving on a taxi ride is definitely a great idea. Our only question is, who tips? No doubt the last person exiting the taxi is going to get stuck with a higher fare than the other riders. Let us know if you have any ideas how to manage the tipping issue.

Where to Get a Group Ride Read more…

December 18, 2009

Breaking News!

Even though NYC taxis are now clean and free of unpleasant odors, so many of us have had to endure a taxi ride listening to the driver talk incessantly on his/her cell phone. I’ve even had a driver miss a crucial turn because he was more focused on his phone call than my destination and my warning him that the turn was coming up. My ride ended up costing me double the amount.

But starting in mid-January, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has banned NYC taxi drivers from using ‘any electronic device in the immediate propinquity of the driver’s ear’.

That means that not only can drivers cannot wear a hands-free headset, even if they ARE NOT talking on the phone, but they cannot use ANY electronic device while the cab is in motion — things that take pictures, play music, etc.

Read more…

November 3, 2009
New Taxi Fare Sticker 11-1-09

New Taxi Fare Sticker 11-1-09

Yep, your NYC taxi trip is now going to cost you another $.50 starting November 1st. Remember how New York State did a bailout back in the spring so that the MTA fare increases went from $2 to $2.25 instead of going up to $2.50? Well, part of that bailout is a new law in New York State that adds a 50-cent “State Surcharge” to all NYC taxi trips, effective on November 1, 2009.

That’s the new fare sticker above. You’ll notice that the sticker shows a $3.00 initial fare. The TLC is the first one to emphasize that it has not changed the initial fare from $2.50 but it has been asked by NYC to “collect and pass on” the surcharge. The new sticker includes the additional $.50 surcharge in the initial fare so that it all fits nicely on the sticker.

Don’t forget about the other surcharges that you’ll get on your taxi rides:
$.50 surcharge at night between 8pm and 6am
$1.00 surcharge Monday through Friday from 4pm – 8pm

PS. Something interesting to think about — should your tip for the driver be based on the fare BEFORE the $.50 surcharge is added?

Filed under: Getting Around NYC — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 8:33 am