Monthly Archives: December 2015

What to Know About NYC Cabs

What to Know About NYC Cabs

Depending upon who you ask, New York City transportation is either among the finest in the world or a chilling, hair-raising experience that can leave you swearing off ever wanting to visit the city again. Most who live in New York or at least visit it frequently will tell you that the subway system is the best method of getting around the city. However, there will be times where you don’t want to be a slave to subway schedules or have to walk two miles from a designated stop in order to reach your destination. It’s at these times where the city’s famed yellow cab service comes in handy. Here are a few things to know about NYC yellow taxi cabs to & from Brooklyn.

How to Get Where You Need to Go

Unfortunately, New York City’s cab service often suffers from a bad rap. Much of that may have to do with the fact that currently over 8.4 million people call the city home. This mass of humanity puts a tremendous strain on the transportation service, especially cabbies. This limits their availability and often restricts your chances of using them to get to the city’s outer boroughs. Yet that’s not to say that you can’t rely on them to get you where you want to go in the manner that you want to get there. You simply need to understand what your freedoms are in using them and how you can help your cabbie reach your destination before costing you a small fortune:

  • Plan ahead: If you know you’re going to be traveling in a large group, understand that you’ll likely need more than one taxi. The typically NYC yellow cab can’t fit more than 4-5 passengers, so you may need to spread your party out over multiple cabs. Look on the bright side, however: at least you’ll get the chance to say “Follow that cab” just like they do in the movies.
  • Be safe: If you’re traveling with small children that will require a car seat restraint, don’t expect that your cabbie will have one available for you. Bring your own along instead. A cabbie cannot refuse you fare simply because you’re traveling with a child. Also, don’t tolerate unsafe behavior on the part of your cab driver. If he or she is talking on a cell phone, drinking coffee, or doing anything else that may distract attention from the road, ask them to stop. Say that you’re only looking out for their best interests, as you’d hate to see them get a ticket.
  • Don’t assume your cabbie knows the way: Believe it or not, it’s currently not mandatory that NYC cab drivers have a GPS system in their vehicles. While a good general knowledge of the city’s streets is a prerequisite to being hired as a cabbie, one likely won’t know what street your Aunt Hazel lives on in Brooklyn. If you’re traveling to the outer boroughs, be prepared to provide directions. This will save you time as well as cab fare.

Many will tell you that you can’t truly experience all that The Big Apple has to offer without taking a ride in one of her famed yellow cabs. Contrary to what some may say, doing so needn’t be a traumatic experience. With just a little bit of planning on your part, and the resolve to talk to your driver to help make your experience more enjoyable, you’ll find cruising through the city’s streets by cab to be quite a treat.

New Years Eve Times Square

New Years Eve in Times Square

It doesn’t get much more iconic New York than New Year’s Eve in Times Square. This yearly celebration has come a long way since party goers started celebrating in the area as early as 1904. In 1907 the New Year’s Eve ball made its very first appearance at One Times Square. The first ball was made out of iron, 100 light bulbs and wood, was 5 foot in diameter and weighed nearly 700 pounds. It is safe to say the current ball has a few upgrades which includes a computerized LED lighting system and is covered in Waterford Crystals. Not only has the quality changed but it’s size too – it weighs almost 12,000 pounds and is 12 feet in diameter. The ball currently takes 60 seconds (which perfectly coincides with your countdown) to descend 141 feet to start the New Year.

Way down below on the city streets you can find an estimated one million people in Times Square from all over the world ready to ring in the New Year. However, the celebration wasn’t always in  midtown. In the early 1900’s people would gather at Trinity Church in downtown Manhattan where they would ring a bell to signify the new year. As more vibrant buildings were being built up in midtown, people started to make their way towards this area for celebrations.

Now tourist and locals alike gather from the early morning to find the perfect spot to take it all in. Usually in festive hats and noise makers in hand, the excitement can be overwhelming. Star-studded musical performances and appearances take black throughout the night as everyone patiently waits for the official count down to begin.

If you think one million people in Times Square is a lot, think about the one billion people who watch the events that unfold in New York City from their televisions. Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, which is now hosted by Ryan Secreast is synonymous with New Year’s Eve. Other networks you can find alternative broadcasts like New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly or CNNs’ New Year’s Eve Live. These programs allow everyone to feel part of these iconic New York City events without leaving your house.

No matter where you are this New Years, everyone here at GO Airlink NYC wishes you a very happy and healthy New Year.

See New York City on a Budget

See New York City on a Budget

See New York City on a Budget

New York City is definitely one destination that must be on every traveler’s bucket list. However, far too many are scared away from the prospect of visiting the Big Apple by the costs. They hear horror stories about hundred-dollar cab rides and paying $5 for a hot dog, and immediately write their dreams of visiting NYC off. The sad part about all of this is that it doesn’t have to be this way. From finding discounted tickets to Broadway shows or utilizing the NYC Share Ride Shuttle, taking in New York City on a budget isn’t much of a challenge at all.

Tips to Save a Few Bucks on Your Travels

Now, if you’re like many of those wanting to visit NYC, than you’ve convinced yourself into thinking that the only way to get the full experience is to splurge. Yet if you truly want to experience New York as a New Yorker would, then you’ll look for ways to save a buck and avoid the traditional tourist traps. With that in mind, here are some tips from the locals on how to enjoy New York without needing to take out a second mortgage:

  • Save on your accommodations: If you’re looking to spend $300+ per night on a hotel room, than New York can certainly accommodate you. However, any resident will be quick to point out that the view of Central Park you get from the ground level is just as good as the one available from some of the city’s swankier hotel rooms. Thus, they recommend saving on your lodging when you can. Hit the Internet and look for travel sites that offer discount rooms. Avoid traveling during the holiday season and at other times when you know hotel costs will be outrageous. You may even want to look into a hosting service where actual residents are willing to let you crash on their couches.
  • Know how to get around: Some may say that no trip to New York is complete without hailing one of the city’s famous yellow cabs. Just know that a ride is going to cost you, especially if you happen to get stuck in midday traffic. New York City has the one of the most famous subway systems in the world; don’t be afraid to use it. Or, if you prefer, try any of the city’s ride share shuttle services. They get you to where you need to go just as quick as a cab, and for only $5-$10 per ride, sharing your journey with others is well worth it.
  • Use your sightseeing budget wisely: There are, of course, certain landmarks that must be seen in the city, each of which charges admission. However, with a prepaid New York City Pass, you’re granted access to more than 50 of the city’s most popular attractions, including the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Radio City Music Hall, and Madison Square Garden. Want to see a show? Get up early one morning and head to any of the TKTS booths in Times Square. They sell tickets for day-of performances for up to a 25-50 percent discount.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the only way you’ll ever be able to visit New York City is to blow your kid’s college fund. There are ways to enjoy all of the sights and the sounds of The City That Never Sleeps on virtually any budget. So stop worrying about breaking the bank; your dream vacation is much more attainable than you think.

Getting Around New York City via Taxi Made Easy

Getting Around New York City via Taxi Made Easy

If you’re new in town or not a resident of the Big Apple, utilizing one its many taxis can seem tricky. Things move fast in the city, so it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle-bustle if you aren’t familiar with local customs. Taxis, however, represent one of the most common and—with a few fellow passengers—affordable transportation options available. Here’s everything you need to know about New York City taxis.

Getting Started

You’ve seen it done on TV and in movies a thousand times before: hailing a cab is as simple as extending your arm as it approaches—right? Almost; you also have to pay attention to the service light on top of the vehicle. A cab is available when only the center indicator is lit. When both the cab number and “off-duty” lamps are illuminated, that means the cab’s not taking fares. If a driver already has a fare, all lights will be dimmed.

To increase your chances of being spotted, step off the street slightly as you hail (be safe!), and stand in a good spot where the driver can accommodate you. Lastly, make sure you’re on the side of the street where traffic’s headed in the direction you need to go.

A Few General Tips

While making use of taxis in NYC is not an overly complicated process, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Traditional medallion taxis (the yellow ones) in New York City cannot be requested in advance. If you’re not up for hailing your ride, you’ll need to rely on an alternate transportation service such as a livery cab or hired car service.
  • Only up to four passengers are typically permitted in a standard-size taxi cab. Minivan-style vehicles may permit up to five individuals.
  • Children seven years of age and under are permitted to sit on the lap of an adult passenger riding in the backseat of a cab.
  • The front seat of a cab can be used by a passenger when the rear three seats are full, or when he or she is unable to access the backseat of the taxi.

Notes Regarding Fares

The distance you’re traveling is the biggest factor in what you’ll pay for a cab ride, but there are other factors which influence your final fare as well:

  • All taxi rides in NYC are subject to a minimum fare (equivalent to one mile of travel) as well as a city tax surcharge.
  • Incremental rates are applied each 1/5 mile when traveling over 6 MPH, or every two minutes when below this speed.
  • Additional surcharges apply at night and during peak weekday periods.
  • Passengers are on the hook for all road and bridge tolls (drivers are obligated to offer discounted E-Z Pass rates).
  • You may pay via cash, credit or debit card and may decline to tip (15% is customary) in the event of poor service.

 

Remember, fares are not influenced by the number of bags or total passengers, so plan your city travels strategically and enjoy the savings!

The 83rd Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

The 83rd Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

It’s that time of year again! With the weather being as warm as it has been in NYC, it’s hard to get into the holiday spirit, but fear not, we have just the thing to put you into the holiday mood. The 83rd Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting is happening tomorrow, December 2nd, with live performances starting at 7 pm.

To find the best tree, a helicopter flies over thousands of trees in areas such as Connecticut, New Jersey, upstate New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Canada. Once chosen, the tree is decorated with up to 30,000 multicolored LED lights (that’s five miles of wire!). The star on top contains 25,000 Swarovski crystals with one million facets, and 720 LED bulbs. It is the largest of stars to ever top the tree and weighs in at around 550 pounds!

If you are worried about the environmental impact of all of those lights, don’t be! The tree has been solar powered since 2007 by 300 solar panels installed on the roof One Rockerfeller Center. Believe it or not, the tree saves enough energy to power a 2,000 square foot home for a month!

This year, the tree will stand at 78 feet, and was found in Gardiner, New York. Once lit, the tree will be available for viewing from 5:30 am to midnight, and all day on Christmas Day until 8pm on January 6th.

Even though the tree is lit exclusively for the holiday season, that doesn’t mean it will be thrown away. The tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity to create lumber for families in need. Come support this great tradition, and create memories for years to come.