How to talk to cab drivers

2 Jul

Count it out for them. “20th” sounds like “28th,” and “30th sounds like 38th,” etc. Say “Three-Zero and Third” or “Two-Zero and Second” to be clear.

Farewell, Address. New Yorkers do not use addresses, ever. 621 Sixth Avenue means nothing to a cab driver (and nothing to a local of whom you’re asking directions). They’ll want to know the cross street — as in, Sixth Avenue and what street? If it’s between 17th and 18th, just say that. Once you get to the intersection, you can look on the building’s awnings for clarifcation of the exact address. Google Maps is great for this, too.

Don’t Let Them Lie. Contrary to what they may say, you do NOT need to let them know you intend to use your debit or credit card to pay the fare. If they have a card machine in the cab, and I haven’t seen one that doesn’t in forever, it is their responsibility that it work. Many (MANY) don’t like when you use them, however, because it cuts down on their take. But don’t fall for the “uh oh, too bad, looks like it’s broken” trick (unless you can tell it really is broken).

Know Your Passenger Rights. If they’re on the phone, you can ask them to hang up. True story.

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