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8 Etiquette Rules When Using a Taxi Service in New York

Calling a taxi service is smart thinking, especially if you've had a few too many drinks. To make the experience better for everyone involved, here are some basic taxi etiquette rules you should follow when calling for a taxi in the Albany, Oneonta, and Cooperstown areas.

Keyword(s): taxi service

New York City and the surrounding area is the land of taxis.

In New York City alone, there are over 13,000 taxis in service. Whether you're traveling for school, for a business trip, or just for fun, catching yourself a cab is only half the battle. Once you're in, there's a lot to know about what to expect from your ride and how to handle yourself.

Are you tipping enough? What do you do if something goes wrong? What is your cab driver expecting from you?

It's important to maintain a certain level of etiquette while using a taxi service. Read on for a list of handy tips for navigating your cab experience with style and grace.

8 Etiquette Rules When Using a Taxi Service in New York

While a lot of people have had at least one taxi cab ride from hell, bad experience in a cab tend to be the exception rather than the rule.

Cab drivers lead pretty interesting lives--and they're just trying to get by like everybody else. It's important to acknowledge their hard work to make your lives easier, one mile at a time.

Let's get into the tips, do's, and don'ts of riding in a cab service in the New York area--so you can show off your proper etiquette.

1. Always Leave a Tip

Unless your cab service was far below your expectations, you should always tip the driver an additional amount.

Usually, 15-20% of your total cost is the ideal amount to tip, especially for bigger cities like New York or Albany.

Just remember that a driver's earnings are often significantly boosted by tips. Tipping well can help reduce the pay gap and contribute to the future of great transportation services.

2. Be Polite

This might sound like a given, but not everybody gives cab drivers the basic courtesy they deserve.

Don't be rude to your driver. This includes swearing, yelling, arguing, or otherwise being a nuisance over the course of the ride.

While you're welcome to make specific requests or ask for a particular route, don't harass the driver over their choice of route or the speed at which they're going. Remember that they've been doing this a long time.

If your driver strikes up a conversation and you're not in the mood, just tell them nicely that you don't feel like talking. Don't just ignore them or say something snappy.

3. No PDA

While it might look nice in movies, there's definitely nothing sexy about making out in the back seat (or more).

Nobody wants to see any of that going on in the backseat--especially your driver. Keep it classy and keep your hands to yourself when you're in a cab. Try to contain all that romantic passion until you get to your stop.

4. Don't Eat or Drink

Be considerate about food and drink inside the taxi.

Think about it--would you be happy if somebody brought food into your office and left crumbs all over the floor?

Most taxi drivers won't allow food in their vehicle. Crumbs, stains, and strong smells are a pain for the driver to remove, so please finish your food and drink before you get in.

If you really want to eat something that's not very messy, ask permission from your driver before you do so.

5. Don't Ask for Too Much

Most people don't really appreciate being asked to break the law while they're on the job--drivers are no exception.

Don't ask for anything ridiculous or over the top. That includes asking a driver to go over the speed limit, take more passengers than they can legally carry, or go down an illegal route.

If you get pulled over, the driver will be held responsible and people could get hurt. It's better to get there a few minutes late than to have an accident.

6. Keep Documentation

It's always a good idea to document any details while you're driving.

Writing down things like the driver's name or the plate number can help you in case things go awry.

If you lose your luggage or leave something in the backseat, having those details will make it easier to call.

If something were to happen or you feel unsafe during your ride, having these details will make it easier for you to complain to the cab company--or even the authorities. (Saying "It was a yellow cab" definitely won't work).

7. Figure Out the Details

Always figure out the details of your ride before you get in the vehicle.

Have a brief discussion with your driver about where you want to go and what an estimated price will be. Just remember--price may fluctuate depending on the traffic or time of day.

Also be sure to ask whether or not the taxi service takes cash or card. Most companies will accept either one, but not everybody does. Make sure they will be able to accept your payment before you get into the cab.

8. Respect the Music

As the passenger, it's always your right to ask your cab driver for any small requests--like using a charger or asking them to turn down the music.

If you find the music too loud, feel free to ask them to change the volume. If the music isn't to your liking, you can also ask them to change it.

Just don't be surprised (or angry) if they decline. Remember that the taxi is the driver's place of business. You wouldn't want somebody to walk into your office and tell you to change your music, would you?

If you really, truly hate the music and the driver says no, just be polite and suck it up until you reach your stop. Or pull out your headphones and play your own.

The Bottom Line

Good etiquette when using a taxi service all comes down to common courtesy.

Just remember that the driver is human too--and they're willing to work with you to make sure that you get the service that you need. Be polite, courteous, and generous when working with your cab driver and they'll likely return the favor.

Looking for a great taxi service in the New York area? Contact us today to request a ride!

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