Hot answers tagged

103

I've lived in New York City for most of my life, and I've never whistled for a taxi. I have, however, hailed many taxis by silently raising my arm or indeed just making eye contact without any additional gesture. There have been one or two occasions when I've yelled "taxi," but only when the vehicle was on the other side of a wide avenue and the driver's ...


82

Use an app. Virtually everywhere these days has either Uber/ Lyft/ Grab/ Gojek/ Ola/ Didi/ Yandex/ Careem /local clone ride-sharing service, or an app put out by local taxi companies in an attempt to compete. In Istanbul, at time of writing Uber is in a weird not-quite-legal-or-illegal state, but BiTaksi seems to be the app of choice: http://www.bitaksi.com/...


56

Grew up in New York City, and the only people who whistle for taxis that I have seen are doormen—and they do it with an actual whistle. Even then, I suspect they are only doing it for effect or maybe tradition. The only places where doormen go and hail a cab for people are really upscale places. A doorman alone is a perk people pay for in New York, and most ...


55

It happens that I am a native of Shenzhen, and indeed we avoid those "illicit vehicles" (or "black cabs", hei che 黑车 in Chinese) at all costs. The perceived risk is that they might demand exorbitant fees from you when you eventually arrive, or are half-way. Only God knows what will happen if you refuse to pay them anyway. It might be keeping you inside the ...


50

Simply because the fuel cost is only a very small part of the total cab fee and at least until recently, when taxis had mechanically coupled taxameters, it would probably have been much more expensive taking fuel consumption into account than what anyone could have gained by doing so. The major part of the cab fee, perhaps as much as 80-90%, covers the ...


47

London cabs will usually have additional seats in the back which fold up when not in use. This allows up to 5 people to ride in the back. Like below:


44

Everywhere I go, all over the world, the first thing I say when I get in a taxi is "credit card ok?" and sometimes "I have no local currency." [I once accidentally said this in my own country because it's my "set sentence" and it just came out.] This is even before I say where I'm going. Sometimes they say no, it's not ok, and I get right back out and get in ...


41

Thanks @Doc for the useful link at Japan Times. The main reason taxi drivers prefer fender mirrors is that they provide better visibility,” Osuga explained. “There is less of a blind spot so it’s easier to confirm what is happening at the rear and side of the car, especially on the driver’s side.” Another advantage of fender mirrors compared to door ...


39

His name is Ihsan Aknur, and maybe he'll be your friend, too, if you message him on Facebook.


36

No it is not rude. I've lived in London most of my life and travelled in hundreds of black cabs and can assure you that cabbies really do not care what you get up to in the back of the cab -- as long as you pay the fare, give them a decent tip and don't spill food/drink/bodily fluid.


35

Technically, it's up to the uber driver to rate you however she/he sees fit. So it could be because you were super nice, or because you slammed the door, or made a mess, or because it's Tuesday and he feels like being a jerk. Same with the passenger rating the driver, it's up to you to decide what they're worth. If you're polite about it, saying you ...


34

The City of Boston's Hackney Carriage Rules [PDF], section 5.II.y: Passenger’s Right to Direct Route: Hackney Carriage Drivers shall take such route to the destination as the passenger shall so direct. So you are absolutely allowed to declare your own route, and the driver must follow it. The Rules explain what recourse you have if they refuse. NYC ...


34

I've been in a similar situation many times when travelling during business hours to/from meetings - or, often, when going to the airport - where I've had to jump in on conference calls where I knew it would be for the duration of the ride. I usually excuse myself before the call, letting them know that I'm going to be on a call (even if I'm not talking). ...


28

While it is true that taxi drivers will try to overcharge you in Malaysia, it is also true that the rates set by the government are on the low side. The official rate is 1 MYR / kilometre which converts roughly to $0.3. Tourism drives up prices in cities in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, and I am willing to sympathise with the taxi drivers. Unlike Western two-...


28

This is actually based on my mother's experience, and not my own. Yes, this is a common scam. Despite some answers wanting to be generous and say it's possibly accidental, much of the time it is not. If I remember correctly, she told me the way she got around it was by telling the drivers exactly what route she wanted them to take. Even then they would try ...


27

I'm a Londoner with kids of a similar age. Info you might find useful: I've never seen a black cab with a child seat - I suspect there are none. Two of the standard seats face backwards though so slightly safer. If you are going to use the Heathrow Express then taxi is the easiest option from Paddington. Uber is cheaper but still no child seats (and no rear-...


24

Contrary to @Ginamin's answer, my advice, based on traveling in Mexico, as well as practically everything I've ever read on the subject, is to never use a metered taxi and always agree to a price up front. The best prices are usually had when you pay at a kiosk, such as found at a bus station or airport. Case in point: Yesterday I arrived in Morelia, ...


23

I always do it if I think the route is not optimal. You are paying the bill after all!


20

My intuition as a Londoner was that this was absolutely fine, but then I had a moment of self-doubt and worried that maybe I'd been being rude in not talking much to cabbies all these years. So I sought out this ethnographic study of cab drivers: Inside the Mind of a Cabbie (RSA) and that has confirmed my impression that the time and space are basically ...


19

Considerations: Dulles (like BWI) lies a considerable distance from the District; there are no "obvious" options because each involves a tradeoff of time or money. Only Reagan National (DCA) is truly convenient to the city. If you have a large party or many bags, a taxi may be worth the hassle. There is no place to store bags when using public ...


19

If your purpose is to get from Heathrow Airport to Stoke-on-Trent with as little hassle as possible, I would consider flying to Manchester and then take the direct bus from Manchester Airport to Stoke-on-Trent. British Airways operates about 8 flights a day from Heathrow to Manchester and there are seven daily buses from Manchester Airport to Stoke-on-...


19

If you haven't already, do consider public transport options which are very good and start much cheaper. If you take Heathrow Express then the tube, it's likely to be a little faster than a taxi; if you take the Piccadilly Line, as well as being very cheap, you don't need to change trains so it's still quite convenient (and might even be faster than a taxi ...


19

All licenced UK taxis have a plate on the rear of the vehicle indicating how many passengers they allow. Usually, it's fairly obvious from looking inside the cab, but a quick look at the rear will tell you. In the image below, it shows "Licensed to Carry 5 Persons." Any cab that doesn't have a plate like this on the back can be considered unlicensed. In ...


19

The media depicts New York as a city where you step out the door, whistle, and a taxi pulls to the curb. I have seen so many people that try to do just that. There are three major components: They have to see you, they have to register that you are a prospective fare, and they have to be able to stop to pick you up. Make sure the taxi can spot you. If you'...


19

You will always be able to get a receipt. Drivers are used to people wanting to expense taxi rides, and will not be surprised by your request. Although there'd be no harm in asking up-front anyway. It's usual to include the tip on the receipt itself - tell the driver to "make it up to (whatever the nearest £5 is)". Note though that unless you're going at a ...


18

Cabbies almost always choose the route they think is going to be the quickest, not the shortest. That's because a busy cabbie will lose money whenever they are stuck in traffic - the extra on the meter for stopped time doesn't make up for the fact that they could be getting another fare. So if you try to direct them to a shorter but slower route they will ...


18

Other than a few general things, like making sure you have a fixed price before setting off, and that as a non-local you're unlikely to ever get a journey on the meter (which is used for locals in Bangalore at least), here's my experiences over a few trips. Firstly, location matters. If you're stood outside of a nice hotel, then expect prices to be jacked ...


18

As a rule, taxis are fine in Bangkok, it's the tuk-tuks that really prey on clueless tourists. But there are four simple things you can do to reduce the odds of taxi problems: Rule 1, learn taxi colors. Yellow/green taxis (below) are owner-operated, and this group contains the vast majority of bad apples. All other cabs are company-operated and generally ...


17

If you aren't using a ride-sharing or taxi app, as suggested by jpatokal, use a different app: a mapping app. Enter your destination (make sure it's correct), show the map to the driver and ensure he/she has a shared understanding of where you want to go, and keep an eye on the route. If the driver has a GPS, ask that they use it. Keep in mind that there may ...


17

Not a complete answer, I admit. The advice I was given when visiting Istanbul is that taxi drivers often can't read, so that I should give them both a printout of the address and also a simplified map, showing them which roads I expect them to take to my hotel. That the driver can't read roman script could be a charitable explanation of how your driver ...


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