Hailing a yellow cab in the busy streets of New York City can be daunting for visitors and locals alike. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: use rideshare apps, find taxi stands, or flag down taxis on less crowded streets.

This comprehensive guide will provide all the tips and tricks you need to expertly hail a taxi in the Big Apple.

In this detailed 3000 word guide, we will cover everything you need to know about getting a taxi in New York City, from the different types of taxis, taxi regulations and etiquette, to the best locations and techniques for hailing a cab.

Whether you’re a tourist looking for airport transportation or a local trying to get across town, our guide has all the information to help you quickly and easily get a taxi in NYC.

Types of Taxis in NYC

Yellow Cabs

Yellow cabs are the iconic taxis of New York City. They can easily be spotted with their bright yellow color and the illuminated “taxi” sign on the roof. These cabs are licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) and can be hailed on the street or at designated taxi stands.

Yellow cabs are required to operate with a meter, and their rates are regulated by the TLC.

Green Boro Taxis

Green Boro Taxis, also known as Boro Taxis, were introduced in 2013 to improve transportation options in areas of New York City where yellow cabs are less common. These taxis primarily serve the outer boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx) and northern Manhattan.

Boro Taxis can be hailed on the street or at designated stands, and they also operate with a meter and regulated rates.

Black Cars

Black cars are another option for getting around in NYC. These are typically luxury vehicles, such as sedans or SUVs, and are often used for executive transportation or special occasions. Unlike yellow cabs and Boro Taxis, black cars cannot be hailed on the street.

They are usually booked in advance through car service companies or private transportation providers. Black cars offer a more personalized and upscale experience, but they can be more expensive than traditional taxis.


Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have gained popularity in NYC in recent years. These services allow users to request a ride through a smartphone app and connect with a nearby driver. Rideshares provide a convenient and often cost-effective alternative to traditional taxis.

However, it’s important to note that rideshare drivers are not licensed by the TLC and their rates may vary. It’s always a good idea to check the fare estimate in the app before booking a ride. Additionally, rideshare services also offer carpooling options, allowing passengers heading in the same direction to share a ride and split the cost.

For more information on taxis in NYC, you can visit the official website of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Understanding Taxi Rules and Regulations

Driver Licensing and Training

When it comes to hailing a taxi in NYC, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations that govern the industry. One of the key aspects is the licensing and training requirements for taxi drivers.

In order to become a licensed taxi driver in New York City, individuals must undergo a rigorous screening process which includes a criminal background check, a driving history review, and a medical examination.

Additionally, drivers must complete a specialized training program designed to familiarize them with the city’s streets, traffic regulations, and customer service skills. This ensures that taxi drivers are well-prepared to navigate the busy streets of NYC and provide a safe and comfortable ride for passengers.

Fares and Payments

Another important aspect of taxi rules and regulations in NYC is the fare structure and payment options. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) sets the standard for fare rates, which are based on a combination of distance traveled and time spent in the taxi.

It’s worth noting that there are additional charges for tolls, late-night trips, and extra passengers. When it comes to payment, taxis in NYC accept both cash and credit cards, making it convenient for passengers to choose their preferred payment method.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that tipping the driver is customary and appreciated for the service provided.


Accessibility is another important aspect of taxi rules and regulations in NYC. The TLC requires that all taxis be wheelchair accessible, with ramps or lifts to accommodate passengers with mobility challenges.

Additionally, drivers are trained to assist passengers with disabilities and are required to provide reasonable accommodations to ensure a comfortable and safe ride. This commitment to accessibility ensures that all residents and visitors in NYC have equal access to transportation options.

For more detailed information on taxi rules and regulations in NYC, you can visit the official website of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/tlc/index.page. This website provides a wealth of information regarding licensing requirements, fare rates, accessible transportation options, and more.

Taxi Etiquette and Tipping

Being a Respectful Passenger

When taking a taxi in NYC, it’s important to be a respectful passenger. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth and pleasant ride:

  • Be ready: When you hail a taxi, make sure you are prepared to get in. Keep your bags and belongings organized so that you can quickly get in and out of the cab.
  • Communicate clearly: Clearly communicate your destination to the driver. Speak clearly and provide landmarks or cross streets if necessary to avoid any confusion.
  • Respect personal space: Allow the driver to focus on the road and avoid engaging in distracting or confrontational behavior. Keep conversations to a minimum and avoid loud or disruptive behavior.
  • Follow traffic rules: It’s important to follow all traffic rules and regulations while in a taxi. Buckle up your seatbelt and refrain from smoking or eating in the cab.
  • Keep the cab clean: Avoid littering or leaving any trash behind in the taxi. Treat the vehicle with respect and leave it in the same condition as you found it.

Tipping Your Driver

Tipping your taxi driver is customary in NYC and is a way to show appreciation for their service. Here are some guidelines for tipping:

  • Tip 15-20%: A typical tip for a taxi driver is 15-20% of the fare. If the driver provides exceptional service, you may choose to tip more.
  • Round up: If the fare is a round number, consider rounding up to the nearest dollar or adding a few extra dollars to the tip.
  • Consider the service: Take into account the driver’s professionalism, courtesy, and efficiency when deciding on the tip amount.
  • Pay in cash: While some taxis accept credit cards, it’s always a good idea to have cash on hand for the tip.
  • Thank the driver: Express your gratitude to the driver for a safe and pleasant ride. A simple thank you can go a long way.

Remember, being a respectful passenger and tipping your driver appropriately not only ensures a positive experience for yourself but also helps maintain a good relationship between passengers and taxi drivers in NYC.

Finding and Hailing a Taxi

Getting a taxi in New York City can seem like a daunting task, but with a little know-how, it can be a breeze. Here are some tips on how to find and hail a taxi in the Big Apple.

Taxi Stands

One of the easiest ways to find a taxi in NYC is by heading to a designated taxi stand. These stands can be found throughout the city, usually marked by a sign or a painted line on the curb. Simply wait in line until a taxi pulls up and hop in.

Pro tip: If you’re in a hurry, be sure to look for a stand that has multiple lanes. This way, you’ll have a higher chance of getting a taxi quickly.

Hotel Queues

If you’re staying at a hotel in NYC, another convenient way to get a taxi is by joining the hotel queue. Many hotels have designated areas where taxis line up to pick up guests. Simply head to the queue, wait your turn, and hop in the next available taxi.


When arriving at one of NYC’s airports, there are usually designated taxi stands outside the terminals. Follow the signs or ask an airport staff member for directions to the taxi stand. Once there, you can easily find a taxi to take you to your destination.

Pro tip: Keep in mind that there may be a flat fee for taxi rides from the airport, so be sure to ask the driver or check the official NYC taxi website for the current rates.

Street Hails

If you’re out and about in the city and need a taxi, the classic method of hailing one on the street still works. Simply stand on the curb, extend your arm out, and look for an available taxi with its rooftop light on. Once you make eye contact with the driver, they should pull over to pick you up.

Pro tip: Avoid hailing a taxi in the middle of a busy intersection or in a bike lane. This can be dangerous and may result in a ticket.

Rideshare Apps

In recent years, rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft have become popular alternatives to traditional taxis. These apps allow you to request a ride and track its arrival in real-time. Simply download the app, set up an account, and enter your destination.

Within minutes, a driver will be on their way to pick you up.

Pro tip: While rideshare apps can be convenient, they may also have surge pricing during peak hours. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, consider hailing a traditional taxi instead.

Getting to the Airport

When it comes to getting to the airport in NYC, there are several options available to travelers. Whether you prefer convenience, affordability, or a combination of both, there is a transportation method that will suit your needs.

Here are some of the most common ways to get to the airport in the city that never sleeps.

Pre-Arranged Airport Transfers

One option for getting to the airport is to arrange for a pre-arranged airport transfer. This can be a convenient option, especially if you are traveling with a large group or have a lot of luggage. With pre-arranged airport transfers, a professional driver will pick you up from your location and take you directly to the airport.

This eliminates the need to worry about finding a taxi or navigating public transportation.

There are several companies that offer pre-arranged airport transfers in NYC, such as Go Airlink Shuttle and SuperShuttle. These companies provide a range of services, including private cars, shared shuttles, and luxury vehicles.

Prices vary depending on the distance to the airport and the type of vehicle you choose.

Taxi Lines at Airports

If you prefer the convenience of hailing a taxi, most airports in NYC have designated taxi lines where you can easily find a cab. These lines are typically located near the baggage claim area or outside the terminal. In order to get a taxi, simply join the line and wait for your turn.

Taxis in NYC are regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, ensuring a safe and reliable transportation option.

It’s important to note that taxi fares in NYC are metered, so the cost of your ride will depend on factors such as distance and time. Be sure to keep in mind that there are additional fees for tolls and surcharges during peak hours.

If you have any questions about taxi fares or regulations, you can visit the official website of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Alternatives like Subway and Rideshare

For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, the subway can be a great alternative for getting to the airport. Both JFK and LaGuardia airports have subway stations that connect to the city’s subway system.

Taking the subway to the airport is not only affordable but also a convenient way to avoid traffic during peak hours. However, keep in mind that this option may not be suitable for travelers with a lot of luggage or those who are not familiar with the subway system.

Another popular alternative to taxis is rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. These services have become increasingly popular in NYC and offer a convenient and affordable way to get to the airport. Simply request a ride through the app, and a driver will pick you up from your location and drop you off at the airport.

Rideshare services also offer the option to share a ride with other passengers heading in the same direction, which can help reduce costs.


With the right knowledge, getting a taxi in the fast-paced streets of NYC doesn’t have to be stressful. By understanding the different taxi options, following proper etiquette, and knowing the best locations to find cabs, you can quickly hail a ride around the city.

Use our tips to expertly flag down a yellow cab, order an Uber, or find a taxi stand on your next trip to New York City.

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