Subject Material

Yellow Cab

Published: 11.10.2012, Updated: 04.03.2017
Yellow Cab

In New York around 215 million people use a yellow cab every year. There are also a lot of pirate taxis, but the yellow ones are the only ones that you can legally hail on the street. Think of some films you have seen where the New York taxis have appeared. What is your impression of these vehicles and the drivers?

In this interview you will meet Ray who has been a taxi driver for seven years. He is also the owner of two taxis.  Before you listen to Ray, you should be familiar with the words in the vocabulary test.

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Taxidriver in New YorkTaxidriver in New York 

Listening to the Interview

In this interview there are four main focuses

  1. The development of yellow cabs
  2. Ray's life as a taxi driver
  3. The American Dream/success
  4. Customers

Divide students in your class into 1, 2, 3 and 4s.  The no. 1 group focuses on topic no. 1, the 2's on topic no. 2 and so on. Take notes while listening.

Yellow Cab

After listening to the interview, come together in the 1, 2, 3 and 4 groups and compare your notes. Agree about the five most important words in your topic. Rank these words according to their importance.

Each group displays on a board their five words for the whole class.

Use the twenty words the groups have provided. Based on these words, make a short written summary of the interview.

Play a Role

Act out a conversation between Ray, the driver, and the following passengers (see below). Pick one role each. Prepare your lines.


  • Ray, the taxi driver
  • an angry passenger
  • a depressed passenger
  • a very talkative passenger
  • a-new-in-town passenger
  • a passenger that does not want to pay.


  1. One mile is 1.62 km. How many kilometers are 7, 15 and 35 miles?
  2. A regular yellow cab costs about 27,000 dollars. How much is that in Norwegian kroner? How do you find out? Do you know how many dimes this is?
  3. A hybrid cab costs 33,000 dollars. How much is that in Norwegian kroner? How much is this in nickels?

Find Out

  1. Compare different car brands by checking their websites. Find out which brand of hybrid cars leads the market.
  2. Find a map of New York. Pretend that you are taking the final test before you get your taxi licence. You are going from:
    • Battery Park to Central Park
    • The UN Building to the Metropolitan Opera House
    • The Empire State Building to MoMa
    • The Rockefeller Center to Brooklyn via Brooklyn Bridge
      Explain your route to your class.