When should I leave the East Village to catch a 7 p.m. flight at La Guardia?
September 27, 2012 7:42 AM   Subscribe

I need good estimates on timing for a cab ride from the East Village to La Guardia on a Tuesday afternoon.

I'll be in NYC this weekend (RIGHTEOUS!), and am trying to nail down a final logistical detail: my wife and I are renting an apartment in the East Village, and need to get to La Guardia on Tuesday afternoon to catch a 7 p.m. flight. Given distance and traffic patterns and whatever other variables there might be, what time should we leave by taxi?

Bonus question, much less important: about how much would the cab ride cost?
posted by COBRA! to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (13 answers total)
I'm guessing domestic, so you want to be there by 530-ish or so? I'd get in a cab at 430 just to play it safe. That will likely get you there at 5, maybe 515, which is early, and then you're going to sit at the crappy LaGuardia airport doing lots of nothing, but hey, it's better than missing your flight because you got stuck in traffic for two hours.

Also, note that it might be tough to find a cab at that time, as it's right around shift-change time.

Not sure about cost... $30-40 or so maybe?
posted by Grither at 7:49 AM on September 27, 2012

Leave at 4:30. About $40.
posted by greta simone at 7:50 AM on September 27, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks!

Also, note that it might be tough to find a cab at that time, as it's right around shift-change time.

Any tips on that front? It occurs to me that every time I've taken a cab in NYC, it's been either from an airport taxi stand or been called by the front desk of my hotel.
posted by COBRA! at 7:51 AM on September 27, 2012

You could always reserve a car with Dial 7 or Carmel, (212)777-7777 or (212)666-6666, ahead of time if you want. A bit more pricy, but hey, you'll be in a neato black car and can wear a hat and sunglasses and pretend you're a celebrity or something.

Though really, it'll likely only take a minute or two more than usual to find a cab. Unless it's raining, then you might be SOL.
posted by Grither at 7:54 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would leave at 3:30 or 4:00, but I am super cautious about getting to airports on time. At this hour of the day, though, I have taken literally one full hour to get off the island of manhattan by car.
posted by jennyjenny at 8:02 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

I, too, would suggest reserving a car. It will be about the same price and you won't have to run around looking for a yellow cab, particularly important given the time of day.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:03 AM on September 27, 2012

Best answer: I would reserve a car, via the numbers Grither gives, or a van via SuperShuttle. As others have mentioned, you are looking for a cab right around the shift change time, which is a dicey proposition.
posted by dfriedman at 8:14 AM on September 27, 2012

You can hail a yellow cab on the street but they are hard to find between 5 and 7pm due to the aforementioned time shift.

I would give it an hour, assume it's going to cost 40$ to 45$ and you should tip them too. Approx 10 percent is fine.

Those car services probably good to, if you want to reserve in advance.

Just leave yourself a lot of time because in NYC you always have to expect the unexpected!
posted by bquarters at 8:17 AM on September 27, 2012

I would hail a yellow cab at 3:30ish. The shift change at 4 makes things awful.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:19 AM on September 27, 2012

In addition to the shift-change in the yellow cabs, you also have rush-hour traffic on the BQE to contend with, and that gets BAD. If you can be hailing a cab by 4 pm, that will not only let you beat the shift change, but also gives you a shot at avoiding the worst of the traffic.

Cab timing datapoints - I had to take cabs home from midtown every day when I was getting over a broken foot, and I was able to hail cabs fairly easily at 4. I sometimes had a cabbie give me grief when he heard I was going all the way to Brooklyn (they were afraid they wouldn't be able to drive me from Midtown to Brooklyn in time to then make it back to their garage afterward to clock out in time), so there is a SLIGHT chance you could encounter that problem, but trying to get a cab right at 4 may not be bad. Calling a car service would indeed be safer, but do still allow for rush hour traffic (4 pm is probably still best).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:59 AM on September 27, 2012

Book a car service to pick you up at 4:30. Limores is usually around $40 plus tip and toll and it's easier than the crapshoot of finding a cab during shift change.
posted by bedhead at 11:45 AM on September 27, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, all. A Super Shuttle pickup for 3:45 is booked.

And I'm glad I asked, I had no idea about the shift change issue.
posted by COBRA! at 6:22 PM on September 27, 2012

Response by poster: For posterity: went with Super Shuttle and it worked great. I think there was a bit of a roll of the dice in that we were the last people picked up and the first dropped off at La Guardia, while some other people who were picked up before us had to ride on to JFK and must have been in that van a damn long time.
posted by COBRA! at 7:37 AM on October 4, 2012

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