Is there a
rule of thumb that can be applied to estimating Taxi cost (maybe linear cost per kilometer + fixed fee)? Maybe there is a good (authoritative) web application?
The rates for licensed taxi's are regulated in the Netherlands.
The regulation only sets an upper limit for metered rides, taxis are of course allowed to set lower rates and frequently you are charged (much) less for both metered trips as well as flat rate rides. Please note that the regulation allows for flat rates that may exceed those limits too.
Flat rate trips are common for rides to and from the international airport and customers and drivers are also allowed to negotiate a fixed flat rate for a particular trip. (At peak times) Uber may also use that flat trip rate allowance to charge more than a normal metered taxi trip would have cost.
Official taxi's will have blue license plates with black lettering.
Normal taxis (capacity up to four passengers):
- Max base rate: € 3,19
- Max distance rate : € 2,35 (per km)
- Max rate based on trip duration : € 0,39 (per minute)
Vans (capacity up to 8 passengers):
- Max base rate: € 6,49
- Max distance rate : € 2,95 (per km)
- Max rate based on trip duration : € 0,44 (per minute)
A ride in a normal taxi in Amsterdam from the Central Station to the Rijksmuseum is a 15 minute, 3,3 km trip which in a metered taxi with up to 4 passengers should cost no more than:
Base rate € 3,19
Distance rate 3,3 x € 2,35 = € 7,55
Trip duration 15 x € 0,39 = € 5,85
Total metered rate should not exceed: € 16,59.
Official government source (2019 rates): https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/taxi/vraag-en-antwoord/wat-zijn-de-kosten-voor-een-taxi
A simple web app that makes the calculation with those maximum rates:
(in Dutch: "Vertreklocatie" == From ; "Bestemming" == Destination )
Based on the website of the Dutch tourism office, here's some rates (mind, different taxi companies may charge somewhat different rates or offer discounts, group fares, etc.):
Fares Always ask about the approximate fare of the ride before you get in the taxi. Make sure the meter starts to run when your ride starts to prevent discussions afterwards. Taxis have a start rate of 7.50 euros, which includes the first two kilometres for a maximum of four persons. The fare consists of the start rate plus the distance and duration of the trip. The rate may vary from €0 to €2.20 per additional kilometre. If you ask a taxi to wait for you, the maximum rate is €33 per hour waited.
Fixed fare A taxi driver is allowed to offer you a fixed fare. He can also ask a surcharge for additional services, which may include carrying your suitcases. You must agree on the fixed fare or surcharge before the taxi ride starts.
The page does sadly not say when it was last updated, so the rates may have changed some since.
To give an idea, I took a taxi from Schiphol to my home which is some 40km away last year, and paid about 70 Euro. Normally I take the train for about 10 Euro but due to an arthritis attack that started the night before the flight home I'd thought it best to not have to walk through train stations and the half mile from the bus stop to my house.
Regulated services in some parts of the world calculate fares based on distance and time, so some journeys will cost more at some times of the day. These fares are set by local regulators, but pre-booked services in those markets can be significantly cheaper.
Other services such as Uber or Lyft set their rates according to the local market they are operating in, and can vary between cities, even within the same country.
Creating a rule of thumb, or a web app to cover all that would be fiendishly difficult to create and maintain.
Some cab companies offer an online estimator for their own services but those would only cover their local area, obviously.