Friday, December 01, 2006

Cab Fare Hike, and a Spending Challenge

I haven't even had a chance to recover from the previous fare hike before getting hit with this one. I haven't taken a cab under these rules yet, but the free paper I was reading on the subway this morning puts the increase at far more than 11%. Anecdotally, a cab from Penn Station to the Met cost their writer about $18, not including tip. That's insane.

I really may have to swear off cabs. Thankfully, I very much doubt this price hike will affect my late-night transportation of choice: the gypsy cab. For non-New Yorkers, a gypsy cab is a non-medallion car, a sort of freelance livery service that picks people up on the street (though I believe this is technically illegal). You negotiate the fare with the driver before getting in the cab, a process I've always found intimidating. Because my neighborhood doesn't attract a lot of yellow-cab traffic, and because I'm often coming home from bars in far-flung places late at night, I've become more comfortable with gypsies. From many neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens it costs me $20 to get home quickly and safely in a taxi, and I don't think that price will change. But with this latest price hike, I think it's possible that taxis have exceeded a price at which I can take them when I am tired, or inconvenienced by the weather, or running late.

It's December 1. My goal for the month is to take no non-essential cabs (as defined above).


Tired of being broke said...

I think am the only person in New York who can count on one hand how many times they have taken a yellow cab in Manhattan.

English Major said...

You may well be. It's very impressive.