Thursday, December 07, 2006

Miami v New York City Cabs

When you hail a cab you probably think there is no difference between one cab to another. They are usually yellow (although sometimes a little more orange or just dirty white). Maybe some smell different or one uses the A/C instead of windows. But yesterday I realized that cabs are very different - especially depending on the city you take them in.

When in NYC you often take cabs - especially on those days when you are late. NYC cab drivers are fast and know the in's and out's of the city. They can tell you the fastest routes from any street and you can just name an address and they can get you there with little explanation on your end.

In Miami we take cabs only if necessary. Like when you are drunk or don't have a ride from the airport. That is because most people have cars and can get around with ease on their own. I have noticed that the cab drivers down here are often clueless as to where a street address is and drive really really slow (to get the meter running longer and longer).

NYC cabs are heavily regulated. TLC (Taxi and Limousine Commission) requires certain medallions to be on Taxi cabs (which aren't cheap) and they also require your cab meet certain criteria, such as putting up certain signs and licenses with your picture up.

In Miami you are lucky if the cab driver has a license issued by any state in the US. They usually do have a meter (lucky us) but they don't always have up anything that says their name or proof of a license. So who do you report when you have a complaint about a taxi driver? You don't know their name and I doubt there is anyone around to hear your complaint.

NYC cab drivers are smart. They know the importance of an EZ Pass (so you don't have to sit at tolls). More importantly, they know that their customer would complain like all hell and cross a bridge by foot instead of waiting in line for a cab to pay a toll.

In Miami they don't care about having a Sun Pass. You will sit at a toll, pay for the wait time, and pay for the toll on top of that. With no apology they waste your time and piss you off.

NYC cab drivers know the importance of keeping change to provide to the customer. If you have a twenty dollar bill you are likely to get exactly the change you want back. And if they don't have change you know they will run into a store quickly and get you exactly what you need.

In Miami you can be forced to sit at a toll, be brought to the wrong address, pay for the time the cab driver is lost and then find out that they don't have change for a twenty. They will make every excuse under the sun of why it is OK that they don't have change and then frustrate you to the point that you just walk out the cab, say a few choice words and try to forget about the frustration you just sat through.

(Picture from Daily Dose of Imagery)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew I recognized that photo from ddoi!

And I agree completely. Taxis in NYC rock . . . everywhere else, they're just dodgy.

December 07, 2006 11:28 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Hi Jodi, thanks for stopping by. That website daily dose of imagery has so many amazing shots. And I have checked out your blog - looks like you are doing a 365 day photo project - very cool idea - I have linked to it on the blogroll and will be checking it out!!

December 07, 2006 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice! Thanks for the links! =)

December 07, 2006 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taxis in NYC are much easier. The worst city for cabs though is Chicago. All the drivers are idiots, and while they always know where they are going, they will always attempt to take you the long way. I take cabs around Miami, Chicago, and NYC alot, and I've never had a good experience in Chicago. The only advantage of Chicago is that all cabs take credit cards...but try using one! They attempt to talk you out of it or ask if they can take you to an ATM (and ring up the meter while they're at it), even though the city passed an ordinance that requires them all to take credit cards, which is needed because you'll never ride a cab in Chicago for less than $20 fare.

However, one thing to point out: most NYC cab drivers certainly do not have EZ-Pass (the NY equivalent of SunPass). I have yet to ride with one. Very annoying when you are driving back from LaGuardia. Not having EZ Pass/SunPass just adds to the fare.

December 12, 2006 1:23 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

NO EZ Pass for NYC taxis???? That is a surprise I could have sworn there is EZ Pass in Taxis when I was in NY

December 12, 2006 9:26 AM  

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