How Much Does a Cab Cost in New York City?

Kevin Drum

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In the New York Times today, Ginia Bellafante tells the story of her pre-Christmas trip to LaGuardia airport:

“So, how much do you think the Lyft cost?’’ my husband asked as we checked in. He was looking at his phone with a sour expression. “Eighty?” I offered. In fact, the trip that typically ran about $35 had cost $192.

….Prices always climb when demand is very high, and demand is always high during the holidays. We expect this. Yet even by that standard, my experience has been startling — $50 to send a babysitter home to downtown Manhattan simply from the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge, late one night in mid-December. Friends and neighbors have shared similar stories of sticker shock.

I don’t live in New York City, so I’m curious: yellow cabs still exist, don’t they? How much is an ordinary metered cab likely to cost for a trip between Brooklyn and LaGuardia at rush hour? Surely nowhere near $192. What about a black car for a prearranged trip like this? Even that would be cheaper, wouldn’t it? Or is the problem that it’s impossible to get a cab in the outer boroughs during peak times?

What’s the deal here?

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