Aah yes, we’ve come around to asking this age old question again: should you get an Uber or a taxi to get around NYC? Uber has taken over all major cities around the world, including NYC. So, it’s no surprise that that might be the go-to for most youngsters in the city. But there’s just something so iconic about the NYC yellow taxi cab. I mean, you can’t really picture the city without thinking of those yellow cabs driving all over NYC. It’s practically the soul of the city. But as Uber has taken over the city in the past few years, we’ve all found ourselves asking- which option is better? And more importantly, which one is cheaper?

Whether you’ve just moved to NYC and genuinely want to know or just bored at home with nothing else to do, we’ve got all the info you need! So without any further ado, here’s our comprehensive guide traveling around NYC: Cab addition!

Related: What to Look for in Short Term Rentals in NYC

NYC Taxi or Uber: Which is better?

Is an Uber better than a Taxi in NYC?

We don’t need to explain to you what uber is, you’ve probably already used it a hundred times. But even if you haven’t they’re actually not that different from a regular taxi. In fact, they’re pretty similar to a yellow taxi cab in how they calculate fares. It’s a combination of the time and distance with an additional fare of any tolls added at the  end.

You’ll need a phone!

But of course, the big difference is, you need a working smartphone and an internet connection to book yourself an Uber. So, if you ever find yourself with a dead phone in NYC, uber is not an option for you. Unless, of course, you want to endure the humiliation of going up to a total stranger and asking to use their phone (which, just FYI, is a terrible choice in NYC).

Rating system FTW!

But there’s a lot of ways in which Uber proves itself to be very useful. First of all, you get to check the rating of the Driver (and they get to see yours as well). If they’ve got a good rating, you can get in the Uber without much stress. You can even share your ride with a friend to be even more cautious.

Uber is also extremely proactive about getting feedback from the customer. So, if you have a bad experience, you can report it instantly.


Uber is especially useful if you find yourselves in the Suburbs of NYC. Because, while taxi cabs are abundant in the city, you’ll have a real hard time flagging one down once you’re out in the suburbs.

So, now that you’ve got a pretty well-rounded understanding of getting an Uber in NYC, let’s move onto yellow taxis!

Related: NYC Winter Essentials: What should I pack for New York in winter?

Is a Taxi better than Uber in NYC?

Oh what can we say about the New York yellow taxi cab that hasn’t been said before? I mean, it’s an indispensable part of the NYC experience. Just watch any of the thousand movies set in NYC, and we’re sure you’ll find at least a dozen taxis in all the outdoor shots. Yeah, it’s an integral part of the city. But of course, times have changed and perhaps, the taxi might be one of those things that will slowly fade away. After all, aren’t all these new transportation apps supposed to be cheaper anyway?

It’s actually cheaper!

You’d think that but, surprisingly no, a taxi cab is still cheaper than an Uber in NYC. To be precise, study from the University of Cambridge has found that a taxi cab is generally cheaper for shorter trips. Once a trip costs more than $35, then an Uber is likely going to be cheaper for you. But even then, it’s a toss up.

Readily Available

Yellow taxi cabs are everywhere in NYC. Honestly, just wave once as you’re standing at the curb and you’ll find like 10 taxis. Of course, be prepared to be yelled at if flag down a taxi around for no reason in NYC. You don’t need a smartphone or an internet connection to get a taxi, one flailing arm will do. So, if you’re in the City and in need of a cab immediately, a yellow taxi wins hands down!

Customer service and feedback

It’s not unheard of to have a bad experience with your cab driver. But the procedure to report such an incident is not as instant as it is with Uber. For starters, The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission mandates that all taxis have a passenger bill of rights inside the cab that drivers and cab owners must adhere to. If you want to file an official complaint, you need to dial 311 or go online and report the incident through this form.

So, who wins the Uber vs. Taxi debate in NYC?

Well, both an Uber and a Taxi have their pros and cons in NYC. Of course, team Roomi will always suggest the subway if you’re in NYC. But we understand that many people aren’t yet comfortable taking the subway because of the pandemic. But if a cab is your only option, we recommend going with an NYC yellow taxi. It’s cheaper, easily available and honestly, it’s an integral part of living in NYC that you must enjoy at least once!

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers figure out whether they should get an Uber or a Taxi in NYC? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match!