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Taxicabs

Saginaw Mi
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Taxicabs

Just curious--why can't you call a taxi company and have a cab pick you up at a certain destination? Has it always been that way in New York City?

San Diego
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for San Diego
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1. Re: Taxicabs

In NYC you find taxis on the street . In some places in the world you cannot hail them on the street and can only find them at certain taxi stands or by calling on the phone. Each city/country has its own rules.

Brooklyn, New York
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2. Re: Taxicabs

Yes. You can call a car service and have them pick you up, but not a yellow taxi cab

NYC / Fire Island...
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3. Re: Taxicabs

Hola.

Within NYC (except for JFK airport and dispatches for handicapped folks) “yellow taxis” have metered fares and can only be hailed.

Car services/limos (liveries) can be called and will arrive at a designated location and time.

That said, we believe that recently NY Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that allows livery cab drivers to pick up hailing pedestrians from Brooklyn, Upper Manhattan and other areas poorly served by yellow taxis.

Hope this helps. Your questions are always welcome.

Abrazos,

Matt

Casa Hoffa (South), Bahia Chahue, Huatulco, MX

Casa Hoffa (North), Fire Island, NY USA

New York, NY
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4. Re: Taxicabs

As to the reason why, part of it has to do with medallions.

Taxi cabs must have a "medallion" that's usually four alpha-numeric characters. The medallion is what confers the right to pick up somebody hailing the cab from the street. Medallions are property and have sold for up to a million dollars. The basic idea is that NYC wants to limit the number of taxi cabs on the streets, so it limits the number of cars that can do street pick ups.

I think that very few individual cab drivers own their medallions. Most rent the cab, with its medallion, from a company.

I also wouldn't be surprised if part of the reason had to do with politics - if you owned a medallion as an investment, would you want the city to issue more? (Think: law of supply and demand. The more medallions, the less yours is worth.)

See here for some more info: …wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxicabs_of_New_York_Cit…

Edit: Turns out the system was introduced in 1937: …wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxicabs_of_New_York_Cit…

Edited: 21 February 2012, 04:09
New York City
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5. Re: Taxicabs

In most parts of the country, what people call taxicabs are not, in fact, taxicabs. Taxicabs are cabs that have taximeters -- which word comes into English through French from a German coinage based on "taxa", which is late Latin for a tax or a charge, and "meter". A taximeter is a device (orignally mechanical, but now electronic) that automatically charges a fare based on the distance travelled. If a cab does not have a taximeter, it is really not a taxicab.

As taxicab drivers are paid based on the distance travelled, and as there are plenty of people on the street who will hail them (keep in mind that 3/4 of the households in Manahttan do not have even one car...), why should a taxi driver in NYC want to waste the time and gas to go and pick up somebody some distance away, when he has a willing passenger right here at hand on the curb?

Naturally, this is an inconvenience for potential passengers. The solution in NYC is to create a second level of hired vehicle called a limousine, or a car service. These vehicles are dispatched from a single location, and will come and get you -- but to prevent competition with the taxicabs, they are not allowed to accept street hails (although some of the drivers unlawfully try to solicit passengers on the street.)

You are therefore thinking of it backwards: it isn't that taxi drivers are not allowed to come and get you; it is that they don't WANT to do that. The limo/car service drivers will come if you call -- but it is only because they have no choice.

And no, of course it hasn't always been that way in New York. New York is nearly 400 years old, and for most of its history there were no motor vehicles at all.

Saginaw Mi
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6. Re: Taxicabs

Question answered !! Thank you--like I said I was just curious but all explanations seem reasonable--although it sure would have helped to have been able to call for a taxi one late night last November when we were stuck walking in a monsoon --lol !!!

New York City
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7. Re: Taxicabs

As noted repeatedly already, you could have called for a vehicle to come, pick you up, and drive you to your destination, but the vehicle would be referred to as a "car service" or a "limo", not as a "taxi". Your problem is that you are hung up on the terminology, which -- as far as NYC goes -- you are using incorrectly.

Saginaw Mi
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8. Re: Taxicabs

GWB--we didn't know about car service when we were there and I was asking the question for information only--I was just curious about why NYC has the policy and I knew if anyone on the forum knew why they would be glad to give me the information. I so appreciate all of the experts who spend their valuable time answering questions from people they don't know--didn't mean to ruffle anyones feathers.

New York City
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9. Re: Taxicabs

No one's feathers are ruffled, mpjones; I have no idea why you would interpret the simple provision of information in that way.

Saginaw Mi
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10. Re: Taxicabs

Ok, Maybe I misunderstood your last reply--sorry.