Taking a Taxi For the First Time
If you are nervous about taking a taxi for the first time, these tips may help to improve your comfort level. Don’t be put off by what might seem like an unfamiliar experience at first. Many tourists visiting cities are often confused and intimidated, especially in fast paced cities like New York where they’re forced to snag one off the street while competing with other people for a ride.
So what’s the best way to get your taxi? Well, for one, do not run across the street to grab a taxi, particularly if you see another person who has been waiting for it. Wait your turn and another one will come.
When weather is particularly ugly, you may want to share a taxi, even with a stranger, in order to get out of the rain or snow faster. You will each pay a separate share of the fare, which will help the other person as well.
If you and a friend are sharing a taxi to go to similar locations, the first person to arrive at their destination should pay half of the fare and tip, rather than leaving the last person to arrive with the full amount.
It is easiest for the first person to get out of the taxi to give their share in cash to the remaining passenger, and allow him or her to pay at the end of the trip. If you are the last person in the taxi, don’t feel obligated to turn away the money. This can create uncomfortable feelings of obligation for the person who rode free.
Proper courtesy is generally for the man to ride in the front of the taxi and the woman to get in the back, but this can be flexible, particularly is the woman is wearing a long skirt and may have trouble getting in the back. When several people are getting into a taxi, let the women in skirts get in last so they won’t have to slide across the back seat.
Generally the man gives directions to the driver, but it is more important that the person who knows the route best do so. Forget about egos for a minute and get to your destination as fast as you can. Going the longer route will also cost you extra money, which you obviously don’t want either.
Common protocol on tipping is 15-20%. If you have a driver who does not follow your requested route, you may choose not to tip at all.