Me? I'll walk, or I'll wait for the subway—like, I'll take a nap on a bench at 2am waiting for an R, because it'll come! Eventually! But I know the rest of you like to take cabs, phoning up favorite car services because "fuck that, I am not
taking the train." But who do you call? A 2010 Yellow Pages I just found lists literally hundreds of different numbers! So I polled my friends, a taxi-taking set of twentysomething bargoers, about which places are the best: the friendliest, cheapest, most reliable. This is what they said.
For when you're in North Brooklyn and don't want to use Northside or Bushwick (though our own Virginia K. Smith says of the latter, "they know the neighborhood and are reliable for my specific needs"), this place charges for local rides only $7, says So So Glo drummer Zach Staggers. And they're cheap. "And the last four digits are 1111," he adds, "making it easy to dial."
5. Church Avenue
390 Metropolitan Avenue, at Havemeyer
This place "is great because when they tell me, 'right away,' I usually hear them honking on the street about two minutes later," our own Kristin Iversen says. "The cars are always clean, the drivers usually know where they're going, and they're nice about taking dogs. Plus, they're priced pretty well, I think. I've gone from Windsor Terrace to Crown Heights for $9. Totally worth it for a 10-minute car ride versus an hour subway/bus trip. The only downside is, despite having a fleet of what seems like scores of cars, if it's raining really hard during rush hour or something, it's impossible to even get them on the phone, so you're screwed."
3411 14th Avenue
This Sunset Park car service is particularly popular for its low prices. "It's cheap," musician Brian Bonz tells me, and several other people echoed that sentiment. "It's the cheapest," my friend Meghan says, "and I'll use it coming from Bay Ridge/Sunset into Prospect Lefferts Gardens, but I don't call it the other way around because they take forever to get out there."
405 51st Street
Of the borough's most reliable car services, this one "is the most expensive," my friend Meghan says, "but they'll pick up when the others are giving a busy signal." (Still my friend Sarah insists they don't over
charge.) It's their reliability you're paying for. "Anywhere, pick up in 15 minutes or less," my friend Jay says. They have the "most cars spread across Brooklyn, the shortest wait times, the newest cars, and the least smelly drivers."
222 15th Street, near Fifth Avenue
"They're everywhere, they're friendly, they're cheap," my pal Chad says. "Also, they started using Square card readers so you can pay with a debit/credit card without having to phone it in to their dispatcher." (If you think Yelp reviewers are bad in general, read Yelp reviews of car services
, in which everyone whines about the difficulties of paying a car service
with a credit card.) But it's true: no matter where you are, and regardless of their North Slope base, "it almost never takes longer than five minutes," my friend Emily says. My friend Meghan adds: "they will literally pick you up from anywhere in the Tristate Area in 20 minutes or less."
170 Fifth Avenue, near DeGraw
This place is popular for both its speed and its price. "By far the cheapest and never any more than a five-minute wait," my buddy Pat says. Owl's Head co-owner John Avelluto adds: "they once took me from Bushwick to Bay Ridge for $15. MAD FAST." But it's more than just that. As my friend Alexandra, who sings in a band
"They're friendly, cheap, and go just about anywhere. They’ve shuttled me to and from Staten Island for shows without any complaints and for a reasonable price. We once had a show on E. 90th Street and First Avenue in the city and somehow our driver got us there [from southern Brooklyn] in 20 minutes. I’ve booked them for an airport pickup the night before, and they’ve shown up earlier then scheduled and have patiently waited for me to get my shit together. Probably most amazingly, they even drove out to Long Island when my friends and I were at a wedding and dreading the 3+ hour commute back to Brooklyn at 12am on a Friday night. They somehow made it out to our location and got us back to BK in an hour flat, and the cost was only a few dollars more per person than it would have been to ride the LIRR and then get home from Penn Station. Well worth it. Above all, I’ve met a lot of interesting drivers, both male and female, in all my years taking Mexicana. For the most part, the drivers are always friendly and personable, and if you don’t feel like talking, they’re cool with that too."
4604 Seventh Avenue
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