Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: Visiting and Travel in New York City: What are good tips for hailing a taxi in Manhattan? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.
I drive a yellow cab.
Here are some tips to the tourist, the New Yorker, and the tourist that thinks he’s a New Yorker.
- Don’t wait till we are passing you to throw up your hail. We need to see you in advance so we can get over to you.
- Get off that curb. It’s okay baby, this is NYC—don’t be afraid. Stand in the street. Hang off the curb. Ignore those oncoming cars, they’ll move… (maybe). Just remember, everyone’s on the sidewalk: the masses, mailboxes, streetlights, homeless people, halal stands, cell phone case stands, overflowing trash bins, and red light cameras (Houston and Chrystie, I will get you!). If you want a cab, make yourself SEEN!
- Go to a gas station between 4 and 5 a.m. or p.m. The shifts end at five and cabbies need to fill up before they go in. There are only 10 or 12 gas stations in manhattan. Eight of them are on the West Side on 10th Ave. Take your pick.
- Lexington Avenue from 30th down to 23rd St. has the largest concentration of Indian restaurants in the city. I like curry in a hurry.
- Bond St. between Bowery and Lafayette is a major shift change spot for private drivers that don’t work for a Garage. You will always find a ride when the shifts change from day to night.
- If you’re downtown, stand on the uptown side. If you’re uptown, stand on the downtown side. This is regardless of where you are actually going.
- Don’t look shady. This applies to all races. There is no other group of workers that work harder at a more dangerous job so crucial to the survival of NYC, and without health insurance. We carry a large amount of cash on us and are easy targets. If you look like trouble, we’re going to keep driving.
- Let your girl do the hailing.
- Don’t look like you’re going to throw up.
- Don’t stand with the large group of people you’re going to ask to illegally jam in my cab.
- Don’t stand at the base of a bridge (particularly the Williamsburg Bridge). There’s nowhere to pull over safely to pick you up, and if we’re going over the bridge we probably already have passengers.
That’s all I can think of for now. I hope this helped. If I think of anything else, I’ll update the post. Meanwhile check my website: Things I See From My Cab.