Currently the lights atop New York City taxi cabs can signify four things:
2) If nothing's lit, the cab's occupied or out of service. Don't bother. Maybe you've been upstreamed.
4) And lastly (and we didn't know about this one), if all the lights are lit then the cabbie is off-duty and headed back to the garage. BUT! If you're going his or her way, he or she will probably give you a lift.
So many meanings! We're dizzy. David Yassky, the Taxi And Limousine Commission Chairman, agrees. This fall, according to The New York Daily News, "medallion owners will be directed this fall to start removing the signs and adopting a simpler way of indicating whether a cab is available."
"It's far too confusing for the average rider," Yassky said.
And so, the new system, coming to a cab near you:
1) If the light's on, the cab's available.
2) If the light's off, it's not.