$2.25 for the first 1/9 mile; 20 cents per each additional 1/9 mile. Add 20 cents for every 36 seconds the cab is idle.


Extras: The first additional passenger is $1. Extra persons are 50 cents each.
Airport bound: A trip to or from O’Hare or Midway costs an extra $1. Typical fares to the city’s airports from downtown: to O’Hare, $30 to $35; to Midway, $22 to $28
On the street: 6,900 licensed taxicabs

New York
$2.50 upon entry; 40 cents for each 1/5 mile. Add 40 cents per each additional two minutes that the cab is traveling under 6 mph. A surcharge of 50 cents applies from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., and a weekday surcharge of $1 between 4 and 8 p.m.
Extras: No charge for additional passengers
Airport bound: Metered fare to JFK or LaGuardia from Manhattan (typically $41 to JFK, $25 to LaGuardia); from JFK to Manhattan, $45 flat fee
On the street: 12,779 licensed taxicabs-and if it’s not yellow, it’s not licensed.
Los Angeles
$2.20 for the first 30 seconds or first 1/11 mile; 20 cents for each additional 1/11 mile, and 20 cents more for every 30 seconds that the taxicab is idle
Extras: No charge for additional passengers
Airport bound: From downtown to LAX, a $38 flat rate applies; add a $2.50 surcharge for trips from LAX to downtown.
On the street: 2,300 licensed taxicabs
$1.75 for the first 1/8 mile; 30 cents per additional 1/8 mile
Extras: No charge for additional passengers
Airport bound: $2.25 fee for fares to Logan Airport, $4.50 for harbor tolls leaving the airport; the typical fare to Logan from downtown is $23 to $25.
On the street: 1,825 licensed taxicabs


Chicago “El”
$2.00 or $1.75 with Chicago Card or Chicago Card Plus


How many: 500,000 trips on an average weekday
How late: Varies by line-most trains run from 4 a.m. till the early hours of the morning; only the Red Line and Blue Line (between O’Hare and Forest Park) offer 24-hour service.
Fast fact: Chicago’s first street railway was privately built in 1892, and later was joined with several other elevated railroad companies to form the Chicago Transit Authority.

New York City Subway
$2.00 How many: 4.5 million trips per average weekday
How late: 24-hour service
Fast fact: New York’s subway has the largest subway car fleet in the world.
San Francisco “BART”
$1.40–$7.65 Fares vary by distance.
How many: 310,717 trips on an average weekday
How late: Closes at midnight; opens at 4 a.m. weekdays, 6 a.m. on Saturdays; 8 a.m. on Sundays
Fast fact: When BART construction began on lower Market Street in the late 1960s, workers found buried ships where the land was once a harbor.
Washington, D.C. Metro
$1.35–$3.90 Fares vary by distance traveled and time of day.
How many: Typical weekday ridership, 688,146
How late: Opens at 5 a.m. on weekdays, 7 a.m. weekends; runs till midnight Sunday through Thursday and till 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Fast fact: Metro boasts the longest escalator in the Western Hemisphere, with a 230-foot ride-the equivalent of about 25 stories-from street to platform at its Wheaton, Maryland, station.
Atlanta “Marta”
$1.75 How many: 461,000 trips per average weekday
How late: 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Friday, to 12:30 a.m. weekends
Fast fact: MARTA is one of the country’s newest rapid transit systems: its first rail line opened in 1979.
Boston “T”
for most rides
How many: About 639,400 weekday trips
How late: Most trains run from 5 a.m. to 12:50 a.m.
Fast fact: The T’s Green Line, which runs beneath Boston Common, opened for service in 1897-making it the nation’s first subway line.
Photography: top Vinicius Vecoso, bottom Keith Levit Photography/