Cabs in NYC are pretty cheap. On average, it costs me $9, with a tip, to get to work. I can easily walk out of my apartment to Sixth Avenue, where traffic goes uptown, and hail a cab.
By comparison, I have to walk 10 minutes to the 6 train, and then have to wait about 3 minutes for the train to come. This costs me $2.25. But can take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes door to door. I can walk it in 35 minutes.
Or take a cab.
The only time I run into potential issues with hailing a cab is when I am running late and it is close to 9am. That is when everyone is out on Sixth Avenue, trying to hail a cab. All you see is a parade of cabs with their lights dim, already filled with passengers holding lattes.
This is when you have to be aggressive. And sometimes a total "betch."
Make no mistake, I am never mean or verbally rude to people in the "cab fetching" process. But I am sneaky. I will employ any and all tricks to be spotted first and snag a cab. These can include:
- Standing pretty much in the middle of the street (I never stay on the sidewalk), arm proudly extended, hand waving.
- Switching sides of the street multiple times at a moment's notice, as I spot cabs coming up on the other side of the street.
- If I am on the corner, and I see someone come out on the same side of the street, but further up - and thus more likely to get a cab first - I will trot up the street to be in the better position than them.
I would never take a cab before children, an adult with children, handicapped or disabled adult, elderly person, or pregnant woman. Everyone else, though, it's fair game to compete with them.
The only time I have had a confrontation in the process is when I employed trick number three. A gentleman spotted me when he came out stood 10 feet before me. Knowing he saw me, I decided to walk in the street, in front of him, to be closer to the approaching traffic and cabs.
"Hey! I am standing here!" he whined.
"Yeah, I could say the same to you. But I am willing to actually do something about it."
I got a cab before he did.
What I should have said was, "All is fair in love and cabs, dude."