What is the fare for a trip from JFK to Manhattan with a stop in Brooklyn on the way? I'd be happy to pay the flat $45 OR the metered rate, but my cabbie wanted me to pay $45 PLUS the metered rate from Fort Greene to Manhattan -- which means that my $45 wouldn't even get me onto the island!

At first glance, it seems fair to us that you'd be charged more than the flat $45 from airport to Manhattan rate, since you're making a stop in Brooklyn that's out of the way of the cabbie (meaning that he'd lose money shuttling you to Brooklyn and then to Manhattan).

Ask Gothamist now has to flex our math skills. Taxi rates are sort of complicated:

Metered Rate of Fare $2.50 upon entry $0.40 for each additional unit The unit fare is:

one-fifth of a mile, when the taxicab is traveling at 6 miles an hour or more; or

120 seconds (at a rate of twenty cents per minute), when not in motion or is traveling at less than 6 miles an hour

Now, let's assume you're traveling in the middle of the day (so as not to also incur night time or peak hour surcharges as well). Looking at our handy dandy NYC map, we guesstimate that the appriximate distance from JFK to Fort Greene is about 12 miles. From there to Manhattan (specifically Union Square for the sake of this little experiment) is another 4 miles. So, if you pay 40 cents per each 1/5 of a mile, it's $2.00 per mile. $2 x 16 + the inital $2.50 is $34.50. If you add in time spent idling at your first stop, or time spent stuck in traffic, or time spent taking the long way around (all likely possibilities in a cab) the metered fare for your trip probably would have worked out to about the same as the flat rate to just Manhattan, so the meter might have been the way to go in this instance. (Obviously, it depends on where exactly you're going. We decided Fort Greene was the intersection of Washington Ave and Myrtle Ave, so if you're going somewhere else, the mileage might be different. And there is always traffic around JFK, and lots of other variables. So keep that in mind.)

Or you could guess at the math in other ways. The Taxi and Limousine Commission says the fare from JFK to downtown Brooklyn is $33-$38. Brooklyn to Manhattan is at least another $10, probably more like $15 or $20.

So, all things considered, a trip on the meter from JFK to Fort Greene to Manhattan will probably run you $45-$50. The flat fare from JFK to Manhattan plus the side trip to Brooklyn would cost more. (If someone out there thinks our math is fuzzy, please correct us, though!)

Aside: if you're taking a cab out of the city (to Long Island or Westchester, for instance), the TLC says:

the amount shown on the taximeter for that portion of the trip that is inside city limits, plus twice the amount shown on the meter for that portion of the trip that is outside the city limits

Flat fees can be negotiated, especially from the airport, but be wary: we took a cab from LaGuardia to Yonkers once and wound up paying nearly $100!

See also the TLC's rates of fare and Ask Gothamist on alternate (cheaper!) ways to get to the airport.

Photo by Joe of Gothamist Weather.