Ticket to Ride New York Review: The Taxi Board Game

The Ticket to Ride New York Board Game is part of the Ticket to Ride series. However, it is a much quicker to play version of the popular board game. In this version instead of plotting train routes across countries or continents, the players are trying to plot taxi routes across New York to visit popular tourist attractions. This can be as difficult as plotting actual taxi routes across New York at times. We played this board game with 2 players, but it can be played with up to 4 players. With that here’s our Ticket to Ride New York Review.

Ticket to Ride New York Review Boxart

What’s it about?

Ticket to Ride is known as the train board game, but here in Ticket to Ride New York it becomes the taxi board game. The Ticket to Ride series is one of the most well-known and popular board games amongst non-board gamers that isn’t one of the big board games such as Monopoly or Cluedo.

Players race each other to form routes using their different coloured taxis to complete destination tickets. The game is set in the 60s and very quick to learn and play. The goal is to complete the most routes and destination tickets to earn the most points. Ticket to Ride New York acts as a good introduction to the Ticket to Ride series.

Board Example
Here’s the board showcasing the routes.

How does it play?

The rules of Ticket to Ride New York are very easy to pick up. The box boasts that you can ‘learn the game in 3 minutes’. I can’t attest to how true that is as we were introduced to the Ticket to Ride series with the original board game. Chris has, however, played Ticket to Ride New York with friends that haven’t previously played Ticket to Ride and he said they picked it up fairly quickly.

Each player picks a set of different coloured taxis. These represent the player and are used by a player to claim

Completed Game
Here’s an example of a completed game showing claimed routes with taxis and transportation cards on the bottom.

routes. The transportation deck is shuffled and then 2 cards dealt to each player. 5 cards are then dealt from the transportation deck to the bottom of the board. If 3 taxis are dealt then the 5 cards are immediately discarded and a further 5 cards dealt.

The destination ticket deck is then shuffled and again 2 cards are dealt to each player. Each player must decide if they are keeping both destination tickets or just one. If a player chooses to discard a destination ticket that card goes to the bottom of the destination deck. The players must keep their destination tickets secret from each other. The destination ticket deck is then placed near the board.

The winner of the game is the player with the most points. Players obtain points in 3 different ways.

  1. Creating routes between two locations
  2. Completing the routes on the two locations on destination tickets
  3. Connecting tourist attractions

Players decide who is going first and then take turns. On each turn you can do one of three actions; draw transportation cards, claim a route or draw destination ticket cards. We’ll start with drawing transportation cards. Transportation cards come in different colours that match the colours between routes on the board. There are also Taxi cards which act as wild cards and can be used for any colour. You can have as many transportation cards in your hand as you want. Transportation cards are used to claim routes for instance 3 red transportation cards can claim a route with three reds.

Drawing transportation cards allows you to gain two transportation cards. You can choose between drawing blind from the top of the transportation deck or taking one of the 5 face up transportation cards. Transportation cards

Taxi Wildcard Example
Here’s a taxi wildcard

taken from the 5 facing up must be replaced immediately from the deck. However, if you take a face up taxi card you cannot take another card. If, there are ever 5 face up taxi cards then the face up cards must immediately be discarded and a further 5 transportation cards dealt. When the transportation deck is empty the discard pile is shuffled and then used.

A route is claimed by playing transportation cards of the same colour as the route. The player then places their taxis on the route to mark it as theirs. Taxis can be used to make up colours for the route if there are not enough of the same coloured card in your hand. In 2 player games once a ‘double’ route is claimed by a player the other player cannot claim the route unlike in games with more players. Used transportation cards must be discarded. Gray routes can be claimed with any colour as long as the transportation cards are all the same colour i.e. 3 reds or 3 blues.

Drawing destination ticket cards allows you to draw a further 2 destination ticket cards and you can decide to keep one or both. These provide you with more routes to try to complete which will give you a different amount of points per route depending on the length of the route. You do not tell other players you have completed the destination ticket until the end of the game.

Destination Ticket Examples
Here are examples of destination tickets and their point values

When a player has 2 or fewer taxis left each player takes one final turn and then the points are calculated. Each player scores points for each route they claimed based on the scoring on the board. Then the points for completed destination tickets are calculated and the value of any uncompleted destination ticket is subtracted from the score. And finally each player scores a point for each tourist attraction that is connected by their route.

The player with the highest score wins.

Experience of playing

We’ve played this version of Ticket to Ride a few times now. I am a big fan of the original Ticket to Ride board game, however, I feel playing the original works best with more than 2 players. So, when we discovered Ticket to Ride New York we liked the idea of a much smaller board game that could be played in a short amount of time with 2 players. The box claims it can be played within 15-30 minutes and I think with people that know the rules that is true. Most of our games have lasted 15-25 minutes.

It is simple to learn and well-made. It also acts as a good introduction to the Ticket to Ride series. Whenever we have played I think Chris has won the majority of games as he tends to block the routes I am making unintentionally. It is fun to play and like I said only short. This is a game I have confidence in showing to non-board gamers as it is so simple to learn and doesn’t take up much time so they don’t have time to get bored. I think it is simple enough for most children to pick up and the box recommends 8+.

I am also impressed with how inclusive it is for those that are colour blind too. Each colour is also represented by a

Colour Blind Friendly
An example of being colour blind friendly.

symbol which can be seen on the board routes and also on the different coloured transportation cards. We especially find this useful as Chris’ Granddad is colour blind and it would enable him to play. Board games don’t always take this into consideration so it gains extra points from me there.

I do enjoy the game and recommend it as a quick 2 player game. I’m not to sure it would be as enjoyable with 4 players as the board may get cluttered and all players would struggle to complete routes.


  • Short board game (15-30 minutes)
  • 2-4 players
  • Works well with 2 players
  • Easy to learn
  • Friendly for non-board gamers
  • Good warm-up game
  • Good introduction to Ticket to Ride series (for those wanting a more in-depth game)
  • Colour blind friendly


  • Taxis are tiny and easy to lose (although you get 2 free spares for each colour)
  • Short board game (not as in-depth for those that have played original Ticket to Ride)
  • Basic game that some might not find challenging
  • Competitive so not for those after a co-operative experience
  • Might not work as well for 4 players


Ticket to Ride New York is a good introduction to the Ticket to Ride series. I would recommend it for people that have played the original that would like a quicker to play experience. It would also work well as a warm-up game and to introduce non-board gamers to board games. I recommend it as a 2 player board game, but would also play it with 3 players. I’m not sure how well it would work with 4 players, but some people may find it enjoyable as it would be more competitive. To find out more or purchase your own copy check it on Amazon here. Or to see more in the Ticket to Ride series check out some of the different versions available on Amazon.





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2 thoughts on “Ticket to Ride New York Review: The Taxi Board Game

  • January 6, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Lovely post. I adore ticket to ride and didn’t know about this version so can’t wait to play a quick version. Often I play with one other person and you’re right, it doesn’t feel as interesting as it’s easier to complete your journeys so the idea of a smaller game is very exciting! Good job-I like how you distilled your info into pros and cons which get to the crux of it. Thanks for this!

    • January 7, 2019 at 6:47 pm

      There are so many versions of Ticket to Ride out there now. I do think this is the best one to play with 2 players though from the ones I have played.


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