New York City cab fares go up ~17% as of this month

For the first time in eight years, New York City cab fares are going up ~17% across the board. Furthermore, the fixed cost fare between JFK Airport and the city is going from $45 to $52 (plus tolls, tax, and tip). While the change went into effect last week, not all cabs will have the new pricing until the end of the month.

Anyway, this seems fair (to the extent that gas prices have gone up so much and they haven’t raised prices in eight years), though ultimately we’ll see how many consumers start taking the subway instead as a result.

I know this will definitely impact my decision to take cabs, especially to/from JFK. During non-rush hour I found the JFK cab fare to be worthwhile, especially with luggage and multiple people traveling, given that the time savings can be substantial compared to the subway and AirTrain. However, at $52(++) I’d be a lot less likely to take a cab.

Will the pricing change impact your decision to take a cab in New York?

Filed Under: Travel
  1. Unless I’m with friends, I most likely won’t take a cab from JFK. I already thought $45 was a bit steep so $52 is just ridiculous in my mind. I don’t take cabs in the city anyways as I have an unlimited subway card, but for the rare instances that I do, I probably still will.

  2. If you’re not in rush hour traffic, you can ask to take a toll-free route without any significant delay.

    With that said, the price change really doesn’t impact my decision making much. If heavy luggage, or with others, it’s a great fare. Otherwise (or during rush-hour), public transit is reasonable enough.

  3. AirTran JFK + LIRR is cheap, clean, and actually reliable. On top of that, the bonus of not having to deal with attitudes from those cabbies, which itself is worth $52.

    AirTrain+LIRR can get me into Penn Station in 35 minutes in the best case scenario. Good luck finding any cab that could get you there just as quickly in any normal traffic pattern.

  4. I avoid taxis as much as humanly possible. I also offer rides to anyone who needs one. And I mean anyone. Family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, whoever. I never ask for or expect anything in return.

    Even with today’s gas prices have you ever known anyone who would accept (let alone expect) $40-50 for fifteen or twenty minutes worth of extra driving? It’s insane. I hate the taxi mafia. They can take their absurd government mandated prices and piss off.

    I’m not angry at the taxi drivers per se, but the system they’re a part of is corrupted beyond belief and there is absolutely no incentive to lower rates or improve service or provide better benefits.

    If those beat up old gas guzzlers can’t make money then they should replace them with something far more efficient. To be perfectly frank virtually all taxis should be minivans in my opinion. They can hold more people and/or more luggage and get better mileage than all those old Crown Vics that would be a hard sale in Mexico at this point.

  5. @Dax I agree with you in that the rate of $40-52 is expensive to get from JFK to the city but with regards to the old Crown Vic’s, they are used because they are one of the most reliable/sturdy vehicles on the road. Minivans, while convenient, won’t hold up to the use and abuse of many taxi drivers. If they did, we would see a lot more of them on the road.

  6. As a New Yorker working and living in Manhattan, I generally take the subway and AirTrain TO the airport and a taxi FROM the airport when I return home.

    The subway / AirTrain combo takes the stress out of imagining how long it will take to get to the airport (it takes exactly 1:15 from my midtown office to Terminal 8 – as opposed to anywhere between 1 hour and 2.5 hours, depending on the traffic). The taxi from the airport relieves the stress – I don’t care how long it takes, I just want to relax on my way home…

    Keep in mind that the $52 fare excludes tolls and tip – bringing the actual cost to $70-$75…

  7. If I need to take a taxi, then I refuse to fly in/out of that airport. I figure that if there was no thought into public transportation or some shuttle service then its usually more effort than I care to exert……..

  8. The fares are too high — which is why a taxi medallion (purchasing the right to operate a taxi) costs $700k – $1 million. Cabs are profitable for their corporate owners.

    There aren’t enough cabs, there are no more cabs in New York City than there ere in the 1930s!

    A taxi is now only about 12% cheaper than a car service from JFK.

  9. I must be lucky (not Lucky, just lucky). I often (twice a year) get from JFk to Westin Times Square in an hour, and vice versa. The restricted turn cross town streets really help.

    If I just had carry-on, it might be different. By the way, 80% or more of the cab drivers I encounter in NYC are reasonably
    professional and courteous.

    $52 is still reasonable given the price of gas. There is great virtue in the fixed rate; prior to that I had to always be vigilant about drivers wanting to take the Triboro bridge or Belt Parkway. Now they always take the best route (which is sometimes the Queensboro bridge, no traffic).

  10. @Gary

    If they are so profitable, why can’t I get a cab at 4pm?

    Maybe they should issue more medallions?

    I need to get the name of your car service (not Uber) as I get quoted more than $60 regularly and I expect it to go up now that the competition is higher.

  11. I do neither. Hertz on Demand offers one-way rentals between JFK and a plethora of Manhattan locations for about $20 plus a ~$5 toll depending on what bridge/tunnel you use (or free if your destination is uptown and you take the 3rd ave bridge).

    Not an option for those who are afraid of driving in cities, but provides *almost* all the convenience of a cab at roughly 1/3 of the price for those who aren’t.

  12. I regularly use Dial 7 from all airports in NYC. Their rates are good and they have coupons in US Airways, United and Delta magazines so it’s easy to save a few bucks. Everywhere else, I use uber.

  13. AirTrain + MTA Subway for me … $5 Airtran fee and $2.25 one-way subway fare (with unlimited transfers) – can’t beat $7.25

  14. PAX to Cabbie @JFK: “If you expect a tip, please assist me with loading my bags into your trunk – and unloading them at the hotel.”
    Cabbie to PAX: “I don’t speak much Engrish and a damn sure don’t do bags.”
    PAX to Dispatcher: “Balderdash. Another cab, please. What is the taxi commission’s phone number?”
    I do not object to the increased rates, especially after none in eight years. That said, a cabbie’s tip, like all other tips is a gratuity, an expression of thanks for superior service. If I don’t get at least an offer of assistance with that checked bag, what most of them believe is an ‘automagic’ tip just won’t happen, Engrish facility or not. I pay and tip well for excellent service; if my needs are ignored, so is the tip – and I’m not afraid to tell them why!

  15. Cabs are a monopoly in many places. I thought I read a similar story to Gary’s regarding cabs in Paris (i.e., the numbers haven’t increased in years).

    As Cedarglen mentioned, it is bad enough to pay $$$ but to deal with dirty, smelly cabs with drivers in some cities (notably LV) trying to take you on long rides is one reason I dread using them.

  16. 2.5 hours from Manhattan to JFK? Even in peak traffic? I think some of Ben’s readers might be confusing New York for Sao Paulo!

    And don’t forget, JFK Terminal 5 has MTA bus service too, so anyone looking to avoid the AirTrain surcharge can take the Q10 (and a couple of other slower lines to the ‘E’ and the ‘F’) to the ‘A’ train to the city for $2.25 via Metrocard

  17. As someone who took the A train to high school in Manhattan from Howard Beach every day, I know it all to well. When the “JFK express” ran that was great. That ending about 15 years ago. Otherwise, taking subways with baggage is not in my repetoire, wayyyy too long.

    Next time you are leaving Manahttan in rush hour, tell the driver to get off at Woodhaven Blvd and go down to the Nassau/Queens expressway (right by the Belt Parkway). It starts at Cross Bay Blvd (the continuation of Woodhaven) and goes directly to JFK – like a private highway from Howard Beach to JFK. If traffic isn’t freely flowing on the highway, it will save a half hour over LIE to Grand Central to Van Wyck (even with bad luck on the lights).

  18. ‘Tax’ is included in the $52 base fare from JFK, however there is a $0.50 NY State surcharge added to any trip.
    For anyone looking for a slightly nicer car ride Carmel ( is bookable online or by phone (212-666-6666). Although you may have to wait 10 to 15 minutes for the car to arrive the slight upside is the 100 or so miles (MP, AA plus others) you get for each trip.
    If you are a single or a couple (at 3 people or more cost savings are negligible) the bus (NYAS) to Grand Central or Port Authority ($15pp from JFK) or shared van services (Super Shuttle or Airlink) are also good (albeit slower) options.

  19. Ditto on AirTrain to LIRR. On weekends, you can buy the LIRR “CityTicket” for $3.75. Then when I get to Penn Station, I opten stop in the Amtrak Club Acela for a drink/snack/restroom break if need be.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *