The Market

Discover the best corner to hail a cab in your 'hood

By Virginia K. Smith  | August 27, 2014 - 9:59AM

Even in an age of outer-borough green cabs and ever-multiplying car service start-ups, finding a taxi right when you need one can be a bit of a crapshoot. And realizing that your apartment is smack in the middle of a taxi wasteland can be a rude awakening—especially at 1 a.m.

Apartment data site AddressReport has launched a new search feature to track average taxi wait times for NYC addresses, charted by the time of day, as well as the best intersection nearby to hail one. 

Below, some samples of the data for our offices at 34th and 5th: 

Site co-founder Kevin Dolan explains that they pulled the information from the Taxi and Limousine Commission's GPS data of around 200 million individual trips, which AddressReport then broke down based on driver shifts as well as a route-planning algorithm to determine most likely roads for drivers to take.

Based on this, they can estimate the number of taxis that pick up and drop off at different cross streets, along with how many unoccupied cabs pass by the same place in a given hour. (Statistics on average wait time, pick-ups and drop-offs per hour, and taxis passing per hour are available for free, but for a breakdown of the data by time of day, you'll need to go behind the site's pay wall, which offers two-week subscriptions at various price points.)

"Taxis are an important part of life for many New Yorkers, so it's great to know what you might find outside your door," says Dolan. 

As you'd expect, the data varies heavily from neighborhood to neighborhood—we found a 10-second average wait and significant hour-by-hour differences when searching cab data for our Midtown offices, whereas for a staffer's Bed-Stuy apartment, the data showed a 10-minute average wait, but no other specifics.

Still, for the cab-dependent (and the staunch Uber holdouts) among us, this could be handy information to have on hand, or at the very least, a means of managing expectations. 


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