New Major Release for TaxiFinder iPhone App

Share Button, the leading website for worldwide taxi rates and information, is excited to announce a new major release of its iPhone app, TaxiFinder, a trusted taxi fare calculator for smartphones.

TaxiFinder, leveraging the capabilities of, Google Maps, and Yelp, delivers accurate taxi fare estimates and up-to-date taxi company listings. TaxiFinder supports cities worldwide and accepts addresses, coordinates and points-of-interests, in order to identify the trip and calculate the fare. In its results, TaxiFinder provides detailed breakdown of the fare, potential routes on a GPS- enabled map, and contact information for taxi companies in the area.

The recent release (version 2.1) enables users to enter both the starting and ending locations, greatly increasing the fare estimate possibilities and improving the ability to consider theoretical or proposed trips.  Additionally, users can now view more fare details, such as possible flat rates, surcharges, airport fees and other supplementary charges, in order to ensure maximum fare accuracy.

“Our team is excited to extend our popular taxi calculators to mobile users through this iPhone app,” said Ippei Takahashi, Co-Founder of Unleashed, LLC, the creator of and TaxiFinder. “Users familiar with our app will be delighted with these new features. Those new to our app will be just as thrilled, as the interface is easy-to-use and all aspects of the app are highly beneficial to travelers, taxi drivers and everyone in between.”


Get the updated app here!


A Tale of Taxis: A Seasoned Taxi Driver

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Eugene Salomon, a seasoned New York City cabbie driving since 1977, shares his experiences of driving around one of the busiest and most hectic cities in the world.  He has two blogs, Confessions Of A New York Taxi Driver and Pictures From a Taxi. His blog includes a range of stories, from outrageous middle-of-the-night pickups to touching encounters with New Yorkers.   He has recently released a book, Confessions Of A New York Taxi Driver, which includes more original stories about Eugene’s experiences as a cab driver written as if the reader were a passenger in his cab. Check out our interview with this awesome taxi driver!

You have been a taxi driver since 1977, wow! Can you share with us how you got started in the profession?

After living in some of the more remote parts of the world as a teenager, I returned to NYC (I grew up in the suburbs of the city) and was doing various odd jobs while independently studying philosophy, religion, the theater, and photography.  My friend Harry was already a taxi driver at the time and set me up with a job at a taxi fleet.  He thought I might enjoy taxi driving more than selling umbrellas on the street, and he was right.

You have 2 blogs – Cabs Are For Kissing and Pictures From A Taxi – how did each start? And where did you get the idea to start blogging about your experiences as a taxi driver?

Before there was a blog – much before, actually – I started keeping journals.  This was a practice I’d begun when I was 13 years old and my father challenged me to keep a record of what my activities and thoughts were for each day of the upcoming year, 1964, in a book with a blank page for each of its days.  I took him up on the challenge and today that book is my most valuable possession.

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 10.01.18 PMWhen I first started driving a cab, I realized quickly that this was a profession ripe with stories.  Already seriously interested in writing,  I began recording my more memorable rides in notebooks, thinking that someday there will be a book.  After completing various writing projects, mostly stage plays, in the mid-90s, I wrote a first draft of a book which was really just a collection of stories without a narrative voice.  It did receive some attention but, alas, no bites.  I put it aside for other projects.  Then in 2006, knowing that what my book needed was an opinionated narrative to connect the many stories, I decided to give it another crack.  But almost immediately I realized that there were now these things called blogs and what would be a better idea would be to start a blog, hopefully gain an audience, and then write the book.  So the idea of writing a book was the impetus for starting my blog, which I call Cabs Are For Kissing.

My other blog, Pictures From A Taxi came along four months after I began Cabs Are For Kissing, in November, 2006.  I had studied photography at the School of Visual Arts and the NY Institute of Photography, and had even taken a brief sojourn from taxi driving to be a child photographer in 1991, but had pretty much dead-ended in the professional area.  To be truthful, I didn’t like professional photography as much as I liked hobby photography. But with the advent of digital, and with the advent of instant photo cropping and editing, it became easy, fast, and very creative to snap street shots from my cab and edit them at home.

Also there is a significance versus mass thing going on here.  My Cabs Are For Kissing blog is mostly text (significance), whereas Pictures From A Taxi, obviously is mass.  I like the balance of the two, significance and mass.

In 2009, with the blogs running steadily, I began serious work on the book again, and finished it in 2011.  It was first published in the UK by The Friday Project, an affilitate of HarperCollins UK, in 2013 as Confessions Of A New York Taxi Driver.  It’s being published by HarperCollins in the U.S. on Jan. 28, 2014.

You have over 2,000 photos from the past 6 years on your blog Pictures From A Taxi and together they truly capture the spirit of New York City.  Do you have a particular favorite photo or type of photo?

Great question.  I do inded have three favorite types of photos.

The first is a shot showing groups of pedestrians as they cross from one side of an avenue to the other in NYC.  I label these “islands in the stream” in the blog.  What interests me about this type of shot is what you see, and what compositions you can create with cropping, when you get the pictures home.  The faces of the people can be so interesting.  I always wonder who they are, what their stories are.

Gene-Salmon-1The second is a type of shot I call “collage” in the blog.  These are shots of windows and the reflections that are upon them.  Often you don’t realize what you have until you see it on the computer, a reality that is quite surreal – faces may appear in reflections, for example, beside objects that are part of a restaurant’s interior.  Again, there’s a lot you can do with composing these shots at home.

The third is a shot I call “neighbors”.  There are endless storefronts on the streets of NYC.  Sometimes I’m stopped at a red light and I’ll notice two shops beside each other on a street, with their own completely separate activities in progress. I’ll take a shot which shows these two realities, so close together and yet so apart from each other.  I appreciate their contrast.  And it’s so “New York” – busy people squashed together doing their own things.

We loved your recent post about your favorite types of riders.  Today, what type of passenger would you label as your absolute favorite?

My three favorites, in order:

1. The newly-minted father on his way home from the hospital after particpating in the birth of his first child.

2. The wide-eyed “agoger” (someone who is agog) en route to Manhattan for the very first time from the airport.

3. The elderly active.  Like the lady mentioned in my book who was 99 “and a half” (her own proud words) coming home from the theater with a younger man.  (Not hard to find younger men when you’re 99!)

Can you share you all-time favorite story about a passenger over your years of driving?

I’m afraid this is too broad a question.  After 36 years of taxi driving, there are so many.  I can say this, though – my all-time favorite stories are in my book!

You talk about a ‘Taxi Hall of Fame’ in your blog. Can you explain this idea to our readers and tell us which passenger would be #1 in the Hall of Fame?

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 9.55.48 PMActually I have various types of “Halls Of Fame” in my blog.  There’s the “Giving Directions Hall of Fame”, the “Unusual Reasons For Taking A Taxi Hall of Fame”, the “Celebrity Comeback Line Hall of Fame”, the “Pass/Don’t Pass Hall of Fame”, the “Slogans On License Plates Hall of Fame”, the “Descriptions of Exactly Where To Stop the Cab Hall of Fame”, and, of course, the “Traffic Jam Hall of Fame”, which is also a chapter in my book.

I guess these titles are pretty self-explanatory.  These are stories, or lists, about the most remarkable incidents I’ve encountered in each genre.

If I had to pick my number one person mentioned in these hallowed halls, although not a passenger, it would be Fidel Castro.  It was the traffic jam caused by his exotic exit from NYC in 1979 that was the most astounding.  That story is in the book.

During your time as a taxi driver, what is the greatest lesson you have learned?

People are basically good.  Always give them an opportunity to demonstrate their decency.

 You certainly have a vast knowledge of the NYC taxi industry – if you can change one thing about it, what would it be?

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 9.57.54 PMRight now it would be the damned “Taxi TV” in the back of all yellow cabs.  The sound they emit I consider to be a safety issue.  It comes on automatically whenever the meter is started and the volume is under the control of the passengers.  Plus it’s a revolving loop of programming which a driver must listen to over and over and over and over…  and over!

Every driver, and most passengers, despise these things because they add annoyance and distraction into the environment, as if the environment of a taxi driver in NYC wasn’t already annoying and distracting enough without them.  And that is why they are a safety violation.

So they must go.  Or at least be silenced.

 You recently published Confessions Of A New York Taxi Driver, congratulations! Could you give our readers an idea of what to expect from the book

Thank you.  It’s my best stories from 36 years of taxi driving in New York City, categorized into chapters, and connected together by an opinionated, first-person narrative.  For example,  there’s a chapter called “Road Rage”, another called “Extreme Behavior”, and another (of course) called “Sex and the Taxi”.  Each chapter has several stories pertaining to its own subject matter.

Also, I wrote it as if the reader were a passenger in my cab.  In fact, most of the stories are ones that I’ve been telling to the captive audiences known as “passengers” when it seemed appropriate, so they have a verbal tradition.

Excerpts from the book can be found by going to either or and searching for Confessions Of A New York Taxi Driver within those sites.

Do you plan to continue to drive and write? Is there another book in the future?

I sure do.  I have three more taxi-related books in mind that I plan to write, one already in progress.


A big thank you to Eugene Salomon for taking the time to complete this interview. We appreciate the support and participation! Best of luck!

A Rare Sight: A Female Taxi Driver in NYC

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The New York City taxi industry is certainly male dominated.  No question about it.  Most passengers expect to see a man behind the wheel when they get into a taxi, and I have been called sir, pal, and bud more times than I can count.  I have even had police officers in a car next to mine roll down their window to tell me that I am a rare sight.  Every shift I drive, I have several people tell me how they have lived in the city for many years and I am the very first woman cab driver they have ever had.  In a city where there are roughly 46,000 yellow cab drivers, there are around 170 women.  That is a pretty low percentage, so it is no surprise that most people are caught off guard.

Everyone, especially other drivers, assumes that as a female driver, I must make amazing tips.  It may be the case sometimes, but sometimes it is no more than any other driver would get, and sometimes, even less than that.  But the times that it is the case, it’s usually pretty good.  I don’t know if it is that I am female, or just friendly, but some people feel generous.  It is usually guys trying to leave an impression, or little old ladies who get really excited to see a younger woman taking on the “man’s world”.

Another perk of being a woman is usually once people see me, they get excited and it opens up a door for conversation.  They want to know, usually in this order, “How long have you been driving a cab?”, “do you like it?” and “how did you get into this?”  It’s like someone pasted a script for them to read off to the divider behind me.  So I have pretty much  mastered my responses.  I don’t even have to think about it anymore.

They are also more open to other conversation as well.  I love talking and try to be friendly with all my passengers.  So, if their surprise at me being a woman gets the conversation going, then I am happy for it.  Nothing is worse than a night where nobody wants to talk.

Sometimes you get guys who take the situation as a chance to hit on you, though.  I’ve had guys ask me to flash them.  I’ve had guys ask me out.  Just last week, I picked up a group of guys who had been out on the town and one of them told me that he was going to be my Christmas present and I was going to get to “unwrap” him.  Even other drivers, too.  I’ve been hit on at my garage, at the JFK taxi lot, even from another driver in a car next to mine on Park Ave. And none of these situations, thankfully have been in any way threatening.  If I felt unsafe, I couldn’t do my job. While it can sometimes be amusing, it isn’t always my favorite part of the job.

One of the things I get asked all the time is “where do you stop to use the bathroom?”  Unlike the guys on the job, I can’t just pull over anywhere.  Driving around the city, I have had to learn places where not only will I be welcomed to use their facilities, but where I will be able to find parking while I go.  Certain neighborhoods are impossible at some times of the night, while others have ample parking.  And I need to usually know where I am going to be able to go before I get there otherwise it’s a gamble, and some places have tried charging me to use their facilities, and others flat out turn me down or tell me there is no bathroom (which is usually a lie).  I am not above lying about being pregnant to use a bathroom in a dire situation.  But after a year and a half of driving a cab, I have a few favorite spots that I know I can always use.

Being a woman driver has its perks, and it has its drawbacks.  I may have to work a little harder, drive a little faster and cut a few more people off to keep other drivers from trying to push me around.  But it pays off.  And at the end of the day (or night), I can honestly say I love what I do.  I can’t remember the last time I had a job I was as proud of.  I love the conversations I have with my customers who may not give other drivers a second thought.  In a world filled with cell phones and iPads, most other drivers tell me how nobody talks to them.  And while I do get my share of people who don’t talk, I know I have a much higher percentage of people who do.  I love that when I walk into the concession at the JFK taxi lot, once the other drivers realize that I am a driver too, they give me just that little bit of respect, because they know how tough the job can be.  And while that respect won’t last until they cut me off next time on 2nd Ave, for that moment, I have it.  I’m “one of the guys”.  I like that street cred. I’ve earned it!


A big thank you to our guest blogger Erin Samuelsen, NYC taxi driver and Girly Cabbie blogger. We appreciate her honesty and willingness to write for TaxiFareFinder!