How Much Do You Tip Cabbies?

“If you tip a taxi driver less than 12½ percent of the amount of your fare you will be shortchanging him, in the opinion of Edward Corsi, State Industrial Commissioner.” So reported The New York Times in 1947.

Riders today might be more generous than they were back then, but tipping has not kept pace with fares, as my colleague Matt Flegenheimer reports.

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission found that the average passenger paying by credit card had tipped about 15.5 percent since the fares went up over the summer, down from about 17 percent in 2011 and 2010, and from 22 percent in 2009.

Some riders might be “tipping less to minimize the increase in overall cost since the fare increase,” said Michael Lynn, a Cornell University professor of consumer behavior and marketing, while others might be proponents of a flat tip not tethered to the amount on the meter.

But what is the appropriate amount to give, and under what conditions?

Peter Post, the managing director of the Emily Post Institute and the author of “Essential Manners for Men,” said his rule of thumb was to “start with 15 percent and then round up.”

Mr. Post offers a dollar or two extra for a driver who helps him with luggage and more for the driver who sails up Third Avenue from downtown Manhattan instead of taking the F.D.R. to make a flight from La Guardia Airport. “You also want to think about how you round up so you don’t end up worrying about part of a dollar,” he added. “I’m not going to give him $3.50.”

USA Today, evoking what many New Yorkers may believe is a bygone era, recommends tipping above the customary 15 percent to 20 percent for a cabdriver who offers “insider advice, such as where to go for extra-cheap drinks or the best time to see a particularly popular place.”

So how much do you tip? Have you been giving less to your cabdriver since the rates went up, and if so, why?

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