Ride Comparison: East Coast Edition

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The price of transportation can vary significantly from city to city, but have you ever wondered how they vary in different areas of the United States? We are breaking down the costs of UberX, Lyft, and traditional taxis across the country based on location. Our series of infographics looks at the costs of transportation across the 5 largest cities by population on the West Coast, East Coast, Midwest, and Southwest.

New Rideshare Service – Via

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Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years you will have undoubtedly heard about Uber and Lyft by now. The rideshare industry is booming and city goers across the globe love being able to hail a car with just a press of button. What you might not have realized though is that Uber and Lyft are just a couple of the many rideshare options on the market. New companies are springing up almost daily and we try our best to bring you the 411 on each and every company we come across so you can decide which company is best for you! Today we want to highlight Via, a fast paced rideshare app that takes multiple passengers heading in the same direction and books them into one shared vehicle. Or as Via puts it “Think of us as a bus that’s smart enough to come when you want it and where you want it.”

The best part about Via is that rides are only $5 -$7 (For riders who pre-paid for their rides with Ride Credit, all rides are a set $5 plus tax fare. For riders who wish to pay-per-ride, rides are charged at $7 plus tax per ride.)! We have to admit that is a pretty cheap fare, just a few dollars more than a ride on the subway, and if you choose to bring additional passengers with you they are charged only half price!

The current downside is that Via is only available Mon-Fri from 6:30am – 9pm between 110th St. and Canal St. in Manhattan. However, Via has mentioned that they are planning on expanding, so hopefully soon you will be able to hail a Via car in other cities.

 

How does Via work?

The Via app is available for free on both iPhone and Android devices. Once you sign up and open the Via app you will be prompted to select your pick up and drop off areas. Via will then calculate your actual pick up and drop off locations, which will be within a couple blocks of your desired location points. Via states that this helps them to keep their trip times as short as possible even though they are picking up multiple people. Once your vehicle picks you up you should expect to already see passengers in the car or to pick up some other Via-goers along your route. The number of passengers you might share a ride with will vary but capacities range from 3-5 passengers depending on the make and model of the vehicle picking you up.

One great benefit of Via is that you can pay with a variety of commuter benefit debit cards such as WageWorks, TransitChek, Beniversal, eTRAC, Commuter Check, and Benefit Strategies.

 

 

The next time you find yourself between 110th St. and Canal St. in Manhattan about to hail an Uber, try downloading the Via app and giving it a try. You can’t really beat their $5 flat rate price!

 

 

 

About the Author

 

Lilly is the marketing manager for TaxiFareFinder.com. She has a dream to travel to 100 countries during her lifetime but meanwhile is filling her time by instagramming pictures of her puppy and trying to figure out how to get an acceptance letter to Hogwarts.

New York City – Tips for Taking a Taxi

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Hailing a Cab in NYC

NYC, the birthplace of bright, bustling yellow taxi cabs! With over 10,000 yellow cabs servicing the city, residents and visitors alike find taxis to be a quick and easy means of transportation across Manhattan. While it may be a bit scary for a visitor to flag or hail one of these beautiful taxis off the street, it is actually a fairly simple process. Stand by the edge of the sidewalk facing the oncoming traffic, preferably near an intersection, then just stick out your arm and pretend you’re the Statue of Liberty! With any luck a taxi will pull over to you within seconds. It is also important to remember that when the numbers on the roof of the cab are lit, the cab is available. Use the below bullet points to learn and remember when a cab is available, off duty, or already has a fare.

  • When just the center is lit, highlighting the medallion number, the cab is available.
  • When the medallion number, as well as the side lamps are lit, the cab is off-duty.
  • When no lights are lit, the cab already has a fare they are bringing to a destination

 

Rates (The below information is taken from NYC.gov)

The rates in NYC are as follows, $2.50 flag drop plus 50 cents per 1/5 mile or 50 cents per 60 seconds in slow traffic or when the vehicle is stopped. In moving traffic on Manhattan streets, the meter should “click” approximately every four downtown blocks, or one block going cross-town (East-West). There also is a flat rate from JFK to Manhattan for $52, keep in mind for this flat rate there is no night surcharge and the meter does not need to be run. It is also important to understand that the above rates are only for trips within city limits, once a taxi takes you beyond city limits, the meter rate will double!

Surcharges and Extras

  • There is a 50-cent MTA State Surcharge for all trips that end in New York City or Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Orange or Putnam Counties.
  • There is a 30-cent Improvement Surcharge.
  • There is a daily 50-cent surcharge from 8pm to 6am.
  • There is a $1 surcharge from 4pm to 8pm on weekdays, excluding holidays.
  • Passengers must pay all bridge and tunnel tolls.
  • There are no charges for extra passengers or bags.
  • Add $17.50 on trips from Manhattan to Newark Airport.

 

FAQs

Do taxis take credit cards?

  • Yes, drivers accept credit/debit cards for all fares; there are no minimums or fees to use your credit/debit card. The driver is not required to accept bills over $20.

Do I have to sign the receipt?

  • Customers only need to sign the receipt when the total is $25.00 and over.

How many people can fit in a standard cab?

  • Four riders — 3 in the backseat, 1 in the front seat.

Can a cab make multiple stops for one group of passengers?

  • Riders can request the driver to make multiple stops in a single cab ride, there is no limit to the number of stops you can request. The meter will continue to run throughout the trip and payment will be required at the end of the trip.

I feel uncomfortable hailing a cab from the street, what should I do?

  • Most hotels in the city have doormen that would be more than happy to hail a cab for you! Simply walk up and ask if they would be willing to get you a cab. As a kind gesture you may want to tip the doorman a dollar or two.

 

Airport to City Center

There are three main airports that service the NYC area; JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia. We have broken out the details by airport below.

JFK

Located in Queens, John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) is about fifteen miles from midtown Manhattan. There is a flat rate of $52 (plus tolls) for trips from JFK to Manhattan. Taxi stands are easily accessible and can be found outside every terminal. When you return to JFK from Manhattan, taxis will charge you the metered rate, plus any applicable tolls.

Newark

Located in New Jersey, Newark Airport is 16 miles from midtown Manhattan. Taxis from Newark airport to Manhattan are typically between $60 -$75. There are taxi stands located outside of every terminal making it easy to take a taxi from Newark. When you are returning to Newark airport from the city there will be a $17.50 surcharge.

LaGuardia

LaGuardia Airport (LGA), is also located in Queens (on the Grand Central Parkway). Taxis from LaGuardia into NYC take anywhere from 20-40 minutes. A taxi will typically cost between $15-$25 not including bridge tolls (these are an additional 3 dollars). Taxi stands are located outside each terminal for safe transportation.

 

Disputes

In case of a dispute or to report lost property, call the TLC at the following number: (212) 692-8294. Make sure to always get a receipt and to write down the cabs medallion number!

 

 

The Ups & Downs of the Medallion

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The taxi industry has been going through much turmoil in recent months; from dropping medallion prices to rideshare protests to job losses. Take a look at this TaxiFareFinder infographic that outlines the rise (and recent fall) of medallion prices in New York City. The sharp decrease is thought to be caused by rideshare services, so it will be interesting to see the final outcome for medallions, the taxi industry, and the rideshare industry.

Sources: Business Insider | Reuters