Once upon a time, finding a cab on NYE was a total crapshoot, but thanks to a couple cool apps, ideas, and tips — plus a bit of planning on your part — it isn't the headache that it once was.
Photo: Via Uber
Before you make like P!nk and get the party started, make sure you have a few numbers on hand. Different cities obviously have different approaches to pickup services, but have a couple car or taxi services locked and loaded before the parties begin. For instance, popular Williamsburg car service Northside says it has a massive influx of new users on NYE — people who have never used its cars before. Make sure you have your go-to ready...plus a backup, too.
Early Birds Get The Cars
According to Uber, a rapidly developing service in cities like San Francisco and D.C., the need for cabs starts increasing around 8:30 p.m. Why? Northside in Brooklyn points out a traditional shift in driver schedules — the day-shift dudes are heading home around that time, though cabbies are certainly on call throughout the night. So, the best bet is to make a move around 9 p.m. and 3 a.m., which certainly feels early/late, but let's be honest: The best parts of New Year's happen before the clock strikes midnight, right? Right.
Keep It Simple
The dispatchers at 1-800-TAXICAB (who service major areas like Chicago) say it is loads easier to send a cab your way when you know exactly what you want and you have a numeral address. In other words, don't wait on street corners because: a) It is the middle of winter, and b) It makes the cab harder to track. Another tip: If you are at a club or bar, give yourself a half hour before you need to leave to call a cab, and smart dispatchers often send more than one car to popular locations.
Use Technology To Cheat
A service like Uber is an easy-to-use app that uses GPS to hone in on where you are, and lets you see what cab is coming for you in real time. But if Uber isn't in your city (or out of your price range), check your local car or cab service for a website. If you have a number to call, chances are it might be busy, but Northside in Brooklyn says a quick cheat is ordering online. That way you'll certainly get your order placed, and you won't have to listen to the busy signal.
As Uber points out, NYE cabbing isn't for the faint of heart — or those of us counting our pennies (the service has a useful estimating tool, and it'll warn you: NYE pricing is "surge" or inflated). Make sure to have cash on you for any emergencies (or bribing cabs out from under waiting passengers. Just kidding...kind of), and give yourself 30 minutes of breathing room. As Blue Ribbon Cab in Chicago says, every driver will be working and they all want to get to you, but don't expect the wait time to be what is normal for the area.
Most of all, be safe. Take trusted car services, go with friends, dress warmly, and please, keep your wits about you. Happy New Year's, readers!
Photos: Via Uber and Northside Luxury