It's almost a good thing yesterday's snow-whatever caused Mayor Bloomberg to delay the cabbie experiment until next week, because it's given us time to come up with some tips on how you can optimize your experience.
1. Have correct change.
The fare will be $3 or $4 per person, and it'll be super annoying to whoever you're sharing a cab with if you don't have anything smaller than several Jacksons in your wallet. You may be a high-roller, but one person paying for three other people defeats the purpose and the only thing that makes sharing a cramped space with strangers tolerable is if the cost is split fair and square. Don't worry about carrying lots of singles -- your comrades may think you frequent the strip clubs in Times Square every Thanksgiving, but they'll be happy they didn't have to shell out $3 for someone they didn't know or didn't like (see tip #3).
2. Engage in some conversation.
Granted, this isn't an experiment in smalltalk or meeting new people, but neither one ever hurt anybody. If the person you share your cab with is a complete chatterbox, just go with it and indulge them. Consider it your "good deed of the day" if you have to. Just be careful before giving them the silent treatment because you run the risk of pissing off someone you might meet in the future. Who knows -- in a month you might find yourself asking them for a job! But they certainly won't hire you if you were less than personable in the cab.
3. For Pete's sake, don't do anything annoying.
We've all eaten, put on makeup, and had obscene conversations when we're riding in cabs alone. But if you're bold enough to take advantage of this experiment, recognize you've just made your journey significantly less private. So yes, that means your new cabbie friends will glare at you if you use that time to break up with your girlfriend. Only your closest friends can fully appreciate that kind of thing.
4. If you're sick, or just getting over "something," please relinquish the opportunity to share your cab.
You can swear up and down you're well enough to go to work or the Whole Foods at the Time Warner Center but if you're sneezing and snotting everywhere, you're definitely not. You won't do anything but irritate and infect the unfortunate souls who stumbled into the cab with you, which will make Manhattan an even angrier place. They will stick you with the fare, which we guarantee will leave you thinking this idea was an even bigger failure than your health.
5. Other than that, happy shared cabbing! Head over to these locations to get in on the "fun."
There will be a stands on 57th and 8th Avenue, 72nd and Columbus and 72nd and Third Avenue. Passengers can be dropped off anywhere along Park Avenue between 72nd and 42nd Streets.