Originally Posted by impolyt_one
That's a lot of money, if it were NYC I'd be inclined to tip about 10-20% since the rates are fair (but unless the ride is over 30 minutes, I think I'd max out at about a $5 tip), but for a place like LA where they can go faster and really get the meter to roll on distance>time and/or get a nice mix of distance covered+ a little stop and go that gets them another $10 on the meter for a little 50 foot stretch, I don't really want to give them much more than a few bucks.
Good thing tipping is not customary in Asia. Taxis in Japan are already insane, especially since the 710y meter drop is about $10 nowadays.
It comes out to about $5 on a ride from deep downtown to midtown, for 20-25%, since, as you mentioned, NYC cabs are pretty reasonable. A lot of times, for short rides, it's usually a few bucks. In LA, they sometimes try to fuck you over, so there have been times where I've just stepped out of the cab, and told them to fuck off, and not pay them at all. I did that to one cabbie who refused to start his meter, and tried to charge me $20 for a 10 minute ride. He threatened to drive me right back to where we started, so I opened one of the passenger doors, braced myself on the other, and started kicking the crap out of his car. He stopped the car and let me out. I jumped out fast, because I knew that he was going to gun the motor on me.
Essentially, I'm pretty nice to people providing a service, but I really don't take being fucked over particularly well.