The World’s Most Expensive Cabs

Author: Eric Jaffe

This month new cab fares went into effect in New York. Fares will rise an estimated 17 percent under a new cost structure approved by the Taxi and Limousine Commission this summer. For each fifth of a mile, or each minute in traffic, the fare goes up 50 cents, instead of 40, in the new system. It’s the first across-the-board increase in about eight years, and cabbies say it’s essential to keep up with rising fuel costs, but New Yorkers still aren’t happy. One Christopher Keating, 42, told Reuters:

“A 17 percent hike all at once is a little hard to swallow,” Keating said. “They may deserve a raise, but it seems like it would make more sense in smaller increments, year to year.”

C. Keating might check out a new report [PDF] from the Swiss bank UBS for some global perspective. On a list of cab fares in 72 cities around the world, New York fares in the middle of the pack. UBS calculates the price of a typical 3-mile cab ride in the city at $8.50. That’s just above Dubai ($8.17) and just below Istanbul ($8.94). It’s also considerably less than the other three American cities on the list: Chicago ($12.50), Miami ($15.32), and Los Angeles ($25.06). It’s even less than the global average, which UBS puts at roughly $10.

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My NYC Biking Story: Bin Feng Zheng

My NYC Biking Story: Bin Feng Zheng from Streetfilms on Vimeo.


Driving Around New York City – 1928


Surprise: Big Old New York City Is the Cutting Edge for Urban Transportation and a Vision for a Sustainable Future

Author: Don Hazen

Who would have thought that New York City, the nation’s most populous city, often perceived as lumbering when it comes to change, would be a cutting-edge innovator in transportation and the future of open space? Who would imagine the city could serve as an incubator for the rest of the country for ideas about the future of urban life? At a time when the price of fuel is skyrocketing as its availability decreases and the burst housing bubble turns exurban sprawl into ghost-towns, smart, savvy, creative, environmentally conscious people are returning to the inner city, where a sustainable lifestyle is more feasible.

It’s supposed to be nearly impossible to get anything important accomplished quickly in New York City. With powerful, conflicting political interests, tabloids ready to pounce at every opportunity, and a state legislature arbitrarily lording over the world’s most influential city from its perch in Albany, progress and innovation face an obstacle course of challenges — or, more accurately, a minefield.

But New York City’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, has turned conventional wisdom on its head. In three years on the job, with her potent combination of smarts, chutzpah and political savvy, Sadik-Khan has made great strides in moving New York City into the 21st century. She has overseen the building of hundreds of miles of innovative bike lanes; she’s turned traffic-clogged streets like parts of Broadway into vibrant public spaces; she has secured huge grants from the Feds to improve bus service, and perhaps most importantly to her boss, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, she has made the streets safer than they have been in many decades.

Sam Schwartz, first deputy transportation commissioner from 1982-’86, and now a consultant and columnist, says, “She has this remarkable speed. A speed the likes which of is unmatched.” He readily acknowledges that Sadik-Khan has done more in the past few years than anyone “in the past 50.”

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Are New York’s Bike Lanes Working?

As new bicycle lanes appear all over New York City, the opposition to them has become more vocal.

City officials and cycling advocates say that the expanded network has already proved successful, increasing riders’ safety while promoting a greener means of urban transportation. Opponents complain about the loss of parking and unloading space, as well as constricted traffic. They hope the lanes go the way of the ones in the early 1980’s, though former Mayor Edward Koch, who oversaw their brief life back then, said that this time they might succeed because the city is putting far more investment into making them work.

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In The News: Cities in Focus | New York City

About this video

New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Department of Transportation are on a mission to make the Big Apple the “greatest, greenest big city in the world” by ramping up bicycle infrastructure across the city, introducing bus rapid transit to the Bronx, and pedestrianizing Times Square, among other bold transportation initiatives.

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