It might be cheaper and greener and a great way to meet new people – but that doesn’t mean New York cab riders are eager to share hard-earned taxis with total strangers.
“I feel I should be more open to it,” said Allia Zobel Nolan as she waited outside Grand Central Terminal Thursday. “But I feel there’s less chance of something bad happening on my own.”
Nolan, the daughter of a taxi driver, said she’s shared cabs from Manhattan to her home in Norwalk, Conn. She said she’s a little worried about climbing inside one with someone she doesn’t know.
“I’d feel safer if I was by myself,” she said.
While Nolan was waiting for her cab, the city Taxi and Limousine Commission approved three pilot programs – including one allowing cabs carrying a passenger to pick up another fare.
The second proposal permits group rides of up to four passengers from transit hubs like Grand Central or Penn Station in the morning rush hour. The cabs would stop along a designated route, with a flat fare of $3 or $4 a person.
Proposal No. 3 sets up stands for livery cabs in areas with limited transportation.
The latter two programs could be in effect by the fall, while the car-sharing plan will take longer to implement – and possibly sell to the public.
Jessica Everette, 24, of Howell, N.J., also voiced security concerns about splitting a taxi while waiting outside Penn Station.
“I don’t usually come here by myself, but that would probably make me wait for another cab,” Everette said.
Others were more open to it.
Carlos Arellano, 31, of the Bronx, said he didn’t mind sharing his space, especially in a city where subway riders are often packed like sardines.
“I mean, it’s New York – everywhere you go, whether it’s on the subway or walking in the streets, you are with people,” he said. “So I don’t think it’s an invasion of my privacy.”
Robert Stoddard, 54, visiting from Washington, said it might be better for his wallet.
“Whatever makes the ride more efficient and less expensive would be great,” he said.
Donna Kelsh, 55, of Chelsea, thought it was a great idea for the environment.
“I wouldn’t do it all the time, but to be able to exercise that option would be terrific,” she said.