2007-01-21 13:34 - General
So, I've lived in Brooklyn for a bit over three years, and worked in Manhattan for just over two. Still, I've been in a taxi only a handful of times. It's a terribly expensive way to travel, it costs $2.50 just to get in, and then what works out to $2 per mile (when moving) or $24/hr (when stopped or in slow traffic). The subway of course costs just $2 no matter how far you go.
Being on a "business" trip recently though, I had the chance to eschew the public system transit and opt for a hired cab. And, being business, I had to get the receipt if I was going to be reimbursed. So I did:
The bottom half there shows the receipt for my actual trip, a fixed fare from Manhattan to JFK airport. The top half, though, I'm sure I wasn't supposed to get. I've blurry-thingie'd the cab number in the picture above to protect the innocent. It was already hanging out of the machine, probably because a button got pushed by accident and the driver didn't even realize. It gives me a chance, though, to figure some simple statistics.
First, we can see that only 45.9% of the miles this taxi has been driven were a paid part of a fare. Then, we can also see from the paid miles and trips that the average trip is 2.41 miles. We can also take the paid miles and number of units to figure out how slow a taxi ride really is. The page linked above for rates shows that miles times 5 should be units, but each extra unit means a minute that the taxi spent stopped or stuck in traffic. There's 6991 of those extra units, which means that for each trip, on top of the time it takes to find the taxi, an average of 3 minutes and 26 seconds is spent hardly moving, if at all. And for all that hassle, an average of $9.48 plus tip is paid. What a ripoff!
(And, yes. There was traffic and it took an hour and a half to get to the airport. Blech. Coming back at 7AM took half that, with one spot of traffic that seemed to be caused by an accident.)