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4 TIPS to Avoid Grossly Overpaying For A Taxi Ride

July 21, 2016

I recently heard a story about a friend who had family visit her in New York City this past holiday season. She warned them that when they arrived at the airport they should be sure to avoid using unlicensed or “gypsy” cabs for transportation & she carefully instructed them on exactly how to get a proper taxi from JFK airport to Midtown Manhattan, where her apartment is. Even still they fell victim to a scam and paid 4 times the regular fare from JFK airport to Manhattan.

At first, when I heard this I got angry, but then I thought about how often this happens and I got even angrier.  Then, I thought about how many times my guests ask me what a cab ride should cost to various locations throughout NYC. So I’m going to answer the question, How much does a taxi cost from NYC Airports to Manhattan Hotels?

Actually, the answer is not always clear cut and below I’ve outlined the various rates from JFK, Laguardia and Newark International airports. More importantly, I’m going to arm you with information and common sense tips to help prevent you from starting your New York City visit out on the wrong foot by overpaying for your taxi ride.

These 4 Easy and Common Sense TIPS are:

1. Ignore Solicitations For Rides In The Airport.

This is illegal and most of them are made by unlicensed or gypsy cabs, even worse they may or may not have insurance and could cost you 3 to 5 times the regular fare.

2. Protect Your Belongings At All Times.

This is a good practice in general but it’s especially a good idea when you are making your way through the airport NOT to let anyone help with your bags. A favorite tactic of the gypsy cab driver is to offer assistance with bags in order to herd unsuspecting travelers into their car. So keep a firm hold on your items and politely decline the offer as you continue directly on to the taxi stand.

3. Use The Taxi Stand

Follow the signs for ground transportation and proceed to the taxi stand where a uniformed representative will help you by asking your destination and providing you with a sheet of paper that letting you know if your fare is flat or metered.

4. Be Prepared & Informed

Did you know that by law a NYC Taxi must pay any toll using an EZ Pass tag?

For more information about the rules and regulations of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission visit this website.


When paying with EZ Pass the fare is reduced and the passenger should be asked to pay only that reduced toll amount.

TOLL Rates within New York City:

There are 5 boroughs in New York City, they are Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island.

The Toll for all bridges and tunnels that connect the boroughs is $8.00 each way

EZ Pass reduced Toll Rate is $5.54. This is the amount your should pay.

There is one exception and that is the Verrazano Narrows Bridge which connects Staten Island & Brooklyn. This toll is collected only when going from Brooklyn into Staten Island and so it costs $16.00, reduced fare is $11.08. Under normal circumstances you should not find yourself taking a route that uses this bridge

So, how much should it cost to get from a major New York Airport to Manhattan?

Taxi Fare From JFK International Airport to Manhattan.

FARE: Flat Rate $52.00 plus Toll

Taxi Fare From Laguardia Airport to Manhattan

FARE: Metered plus Toll


Taxi Fare From Newark International Airport to Manhattan

This is the most expensive of the 3 major airports with it’s various taxes and surcharges. You should also be aware that if you take an NYC taxi back to the airport at the end of your trip there is an automatic $15.00 surcharge added to the ride.

Here is a link to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey website but the details are summed up below.


FARE: Ranges from $50.00 to $70.00 plus round trip tolls depending on your destination in Manhattan

Most Midtown Hotels will fall in about the $60.00 range plus round trip tolls.

Also be aware of the following surcharges

$5.00 surcharge applies to all destination in New York State except Staten Island between the hours of 6am and 9am and 4pm and 7pm weekdays and 12pm to 8pm on Saturday and Sunday.

$5.00 surcharge for all destinations on the East Side of Manhattan

All credit card transactions incur a $5.50 taxi commission surcharge

10% Senior Citizen Discount ( 62 and older) available with proper ID

TOLLS: Holland and Lincoln Tunnels


$15.00 – All Times

EZ Pass (Peak)

$12.50 – Weekdays: 6am – 10am & 4pm – 8pm Sat & Sun: 11am – 9pm

EZ Pass (Off Peak)

$10.50 – All other times

The taxi trip from Newark Airport is the most expensive of the 3 major area airports but there is a cheaper, and relatively convenient alternative.  That option is New Jersey Transit to Penn Station New York which I will discuss soon.

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