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Are Taxis in New York Really as Bad as Some People Say?


Taxis in New York are an indispensable part of life for visitors and residents alike. No matter how much time you spend in the Big Apple, part of it will probably involve a cab ride at some point. According to the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission’s 2014 Taxicab Fact Book, there are 13,437 medallions for the city’s iconic yellow cabs – that’s a lot of taxis! (That figure doesn’t even include 18,000 Boro Taxi permits, or the approximately 35,000 vehicles that belong to livery or car-service companies.)



So, why doesn’t there ever seem to be a cab around when you need one? And why do some people love to complain about taxis in New York? Are the ubiquitous yellow cabs getting a bad rap? While we don’t have definitive answers to these questions, we do have some helpful information that can make it a whole lot easier to have a positive experience.

Hey, why did that taxi just drive right by me?!

Stand nearby any group of people waiting for taxis in New York and you’re likely to hear somebody ask that question. The answer to it is pretty simple: just look at the medallion light on the top of the car. If it’s illuminated, then the taxi is available. If it’s dark, then the driver is either off-duty or already has a passenger in the back seat.

Make sure you’re in the real deal

Before you climb into any vehicle that claims to be a taxi, do a quick check. Remember those medallions we mentioned in the beginning of this blog post? They’re your guarantee that you’re riding in one of the officially licensed taxis in New York. A medallion is the unique number that is given to every one of the yellow cab drivers in the city. Think of it as your taxi’s fingerprint. You’ll see the medallion number right on the top of the car.

Time your ride

Any New Yorker will tell you that it’s a lot harder to hail a cab when it’s raining or when it’s in the middle of the morning or evening rush hours. To minimize the amount of time you have to spend waiting for available taxis in New York, consider using other modes of transportation during these peak times.

Need a cab? There’s an app for that.

You’ve just gotten out of a major sporting event, theatre performance, or concert. You – along with hundreds of other people – are now competing for that ever-elusive taxi. Do yourself a favor and walk two or three blocks away from where the crowds are. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to find that taxi. Want to put technology to work for you as well? Download the CabSense app and instantly locate the best corners to wait for a cab! The app uses GPS technology, so you always have the most up-to-date taxi information on any particular day or time.

Know your rights

Did a cabbie just refuse to drive you to a certain location? Don’t be fooled – tell him you know the taxi passenger’s Bill of Rights. It states, among other things, that medallion taxis must take you to your destination in New York City, Westchester, Nassau, or Newark Airport. Take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the Bill of Rights and know what you are (and aren’t) allowed to expect from taxis in New York.

Know where to go for help

It can happen to the best of us: we’re in a hurry to get to our destination, we hop out of the cab, it pulls away, and then we realize we’ve left our briefcase, laptop, camera, or other important item in the back seat. Don’t panic! Because you did your homework and rode in a medallion taxi, all you have to do is call the taxi company and give them the driver’s medallion number – it’s printed right on your receipt. You can even go online to report lost items or less-than-stellar riding experiences with taxis in New York. Our hope is that you never have to use these two resources, of course, but it’s good to know they’re available.


Corporate Sedan Service has be providing private car service between Philadelphia and New York for more than 15 years. We understand all of the challenges involved with airport transportation whether it’s in a big city like New York or Philadelphia, or even a small airport like The Atlantic City Airport. You can find plenty of additional information on our sedan and limousine blog. If you’re planning any travel between Philadelphia and JFK Airport, take a look at our summer savings special by clicking the button below.


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Are Taxis in New York Really as Bad as Some People Say?

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