The taxicabs painted yellow and speeding through the streets of New York City are considered to be one of the iconic symbols of the city. If you do not feel like taking the subway and if you prefer the convenience of being dropped off right in front of the doorstep of your destination in New York City, you are better off hailing a taxicab to get you to where you are headed.
It is pretty easy to get a taxicab in New York City – once you know how. There are some 12,000 of them plying the streets of the city, so hailing a cab is just as easy as standing by the curb and raising your arm once you see one going your way. Of course, whether the cab will stop and take you in is a different matter, so knowing if a taxicab is free to take you where you want to go would help you a lot.
How would you know if the taxicab you are flagging is available? Just take a look at the lights on top of the cab. If only the center light is lit, the one that displays the cab’s medallion number, it means the cab is free to take you. If the center light as well as the two lights beside it are all on, it means the cab driver is off-duty or on a break. If the lights are not on at all, it means that the cab is occupied
Another thing you will need to know if you want to take the taxicab in going around New York City is that a taxicab will take in only four passengers all in all. One can ride with the driver up front while the other three can sit in the back. A child that is no older than seven years old and who can sit on the lap of one of the adults in the group may count for a fifth passenger.
If you are thinking of calling a cab company to pick you up for a ride, remember that you cannot do that in New York City. If you want to get a pre-arranged pickup for whatever trip you are planning, you are better off renting a livery service or a car rental company.
Remember that the cab is supposed to deliver you right to the very doorstep of your destination. Therefore, you should be able to tell your driver exactly where you want to go and how you want to get there, especially if you strongly feel that the route you know is the best route to take. New York City taxicabs are also supposed to take you anywhere within the five boroughs of the city, so the drivers should not refuse you just because you are in Queens and you want to go to Staten Island.
Cab drivers in New York City are supposed to be courteous and professional in handling their work, so you should expect them to abide by the traffic rules and regulations, to avoid honking his horn and assure you that the cab they are driving is clean inside and out. If you want a silent trip, meaning no talk and no radio, you can ask it from the driver.
In any case you are refused by the driver or you feel that the service you got from the driver is not any good, you can dial 311 and report the medallion number of the cab you rode in.