How to tell if a Taxi is availableWhat is the best way to know if a taxi is available?
As taxis in almost every other city, taxis in Paris have a sign on the top that can be illuminated. In most cities there are taxi sky apps available in your area.
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Having done hundred of taxi trips, both in the US and abroad, I have found that 60% of taxi trips are left with some poor tastes in your mouths, 35% are fairly unbiased and 5% are some of the most life-saving or otherwise great moments of your have-been. As I have had quite unpleasant experience with most taxi trips, I thought it might be useful, at least for the newer travellers out there, to go over some of the basic taxi driving, at least as I see it.
Do not get on without having agreed on a ticket price - period. There are two and only two choices for your fare: a measured or an agreed tariff. I like to jump into a taxi like most folks and see a working counter (although quite openly you can get just as easy to rip off by a lot of metering scams), but most of the time, if you get into a taxi in many places around the globe, there won't be a counter.
Before getting into the taxi - before you put your rucksack or anything in the taxi - make sure you accept how much exactly the ticket will cost. When I came to the four taxi rides to and from the railway and my own hotels (so I knew exactly what the price was) to the hotels and the taxi driver told me a price of about 40 dollars for a taxi trip of 10 dollars, I learnt this on my way back to Prague.
At this point, if I have a big fight with a taxi rider (and you will, even if you have previously settled on a fare), I will have all my things with me. Do you have the right modification - It always makes me amused when some taxi rider offers you a $15 ticket somewhere, you come there and draw out a $20 and look in shock at him to make changes.
You' re a taxi driver - you work in a bar store - you get and give the whole amount of cash - B.S. not to me that you don't have any exchange at all. For almost half an hours I stared down at Victoria Falls with a taxi driver and just withheld my funds until I saw that he had exchange for me.
This is a good way to get a taxi driver to pay the amount of money he needs to pay. The easy way is to always take a lot of small invoices with you (which is a good thing for various purposes anyway) and give the taxi driver the amount. I am sure that I will get a number of comments: "You are a reckless and heartless traveller", but in my books the price is the ticket price.
Route description in your native tongue - Your hostal should have a visiting pass with the location and hopefully a simple guide in your native tongue (or at least if you are reading my hostal owner's guide). An evening of drink can be followed by the opportunity to give a taxi rider a ticket with your hostal in the native tongue.
Besides, if you take a taxi somewhere (or really a transport), I always let the guys in the harbor hall tell me where I'm going, in the native tongue, and keep it in my notes. Of course it should be taken for granted, but not here, that one has to ask the guys in the hostal what kind of fares one should expect for the taxi trips in order to be able to bargain well.
You can recognize some places by the number plates, others by the inscription on the taxi - ask the folks in your hostal what to look for. A lot of time when you get to your final destination, the taxi driver will say after the negotiation of a fare: "Extra $5 for the traffic" or something like that.
Take your things out of the taxi, make a small dance out of the right amount you bargained for, give it to the taxi driver and go away. On other occasions the taxi drivers will arrange a price with you and then try to collect other people on the way to earn more with you.
That' s okay if you are sitting in a "shared taxi" or "service taxi", as I was today, driving more like small busses, but if you have a one-person rate and he turns around and asks: "OK, get him", there is nothing wrong with saying no. It is quite necessary to have a negotiation sequence here - I think saying no and going away - and the best negotiation strategies are almost always the best ones.