Friday, April 6, 2007


April marks the 100-year anniversary of the gasoline-powered taxicab in New York. It will be celebrated with a special exhibit at the 2007 New York Auto Show which will include designs for new taxi stands as well as the taxis of the future. The NYC Taxi centennial celebration will include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaiming the dates of the auto show to be Taxi Week and screenings of taxi-related movies at the IFC Center on weekends in April. Last April 4th, the crown of the Empire State Building was lit in "commemorative yellow lighting."

In 1907, John Hertz, who founded the Yellow Cab Company, chose yellow because he had read a study conducted by the University of Chicago that indicated it was the easiest color to spot. Taxis have meters. The total cost depends on the distance traveled and time spent in the cab. Taxi fares are $2.50 for the first 1/3 mile, then 40 cents each 1/5 of a mile thereafter, and 40 cents per 120 seconds when cab is not moving; a 50cents night surcharge is in effect between 8pm and 6am; a $1 surcharge is in effect 4-8pm weekdays (not including holidays). Any bridge or tunnel tolls will be added to the total charge; drivers might ask that you pay the tolls as you go through them. Taxi drivers are usually given a 15% gratuity on top of the final metered fare. According to The Sun, of the 43,402 taxicab drivers, about 2,300 are American.

The top five countries of origin for NYC cabbies:
1. Bangladesh
2. Pakistan
3. India
4. Haiti
5. United States

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