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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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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