Public taxis are a way of life in most large cities in the United States. Taxis are often convenient to use, and might get you to your destination more quickly than mass transportation like subways, trains, or buses. Another big benefit of taking a taxicab is never having to worry about parking. As many city-goers know all too well, finding a parking spot can be both inconvenient and expensive.
Taxis themselves, however, can get expensive too. Typically, a taxi customer has to pay an initial charge just for getting inside the cab. Then the meter goes up as distance is traveled, typically in fifth-of-a-mile increments. If your cab is stuck in traffic or otherwise delayed, there’s a charge for that, too. Some cities may add peak-time surcharges, bumping up the cost of a ride during rush hours. Any bridge or highway tolls incurred while in the taxi are the responsibility of the passenger, as well. Don't forget that nearly all drivers expect a tip at the end of a ride, which can add another 10 to 20 percent to your total bill, depending on how generous you’re feeling.
So it’s no surprise that using taxis to get around can get expensive. Which city in the United States has the most expensive taxi rides? It must be New York City, right? Wrong. New York is one of the most expensive cities in the United States to live in, but its taxi rides rank only 26th-most expensive in the country for base fares.
According to the fare aggregator TaxiFareFinder, 25 cities have more expensive taxis than New York, based on a sample fare of just under five miles. Sample fares do not include time-of-day surcharges, tolls, or tips.
For New York, this means a sample fare of just $14.50, which comes from a $2.50 initial charge and 50 cents for each fifth-of-a-mile traveled on a hypothetical 4.8 mile trip.
So which cities have the most expensive cabs? You might be surprised to see that smaller cities often beat the major metropolises with pricier taxis. Here are the top ten most expensive U.S. cities to ride a taxi.
10 Hartford, Connecticut: $16.20
9 Boston, Massachusetts: $16.20
8 Bridgeport, Connecticut: $16.20
7 San Francisco, California: $16.70
6 Buffalo, New York: $16.80
5 Rochester, New York: $17.00
4 San Diego, California: $17.50
3 San Jose, California: $18.20
2 Sacramento, California: $18.40
1 Honolulu, Hawaii: $21.05
Jetting off the mainland United States, we find ourselves in a tropical island paradise for the most expensive taxi ride in the United States. Honolulu is the largest city in the state of Hawaii, located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 2,500 miles off the West Coast. Home to 390,738 residents and countless tourists and vacationers, Honolulu has a high cost of living across the board, due to the difficulty of supplying the tiny island from thousands of miles away. If you want to take a taxi in paradise, it will cost you an initial charge of $3.50 and $3.60 per mile.
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