Mexico City by taxi · Mexico City by taxi
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Mexico City by taxi
Mexico City by taxi
There are more than 250,000 registered cabs in the city and they are one of the most efficient ways to get around. The prices are low, a fixed fee of about 6 pesos to get into the cab, and about 0.7 pesos per quarter kilometer or 45 seconds thereafter, for the normal taxis (taxi libre). The night rates, supposedly between 11PM at night and 6AM in the morning are about 20% higher. Some taxis "adjust" their meters to run more quickly, but in general, cab fare is cheap, and it's usually easy to find a taxi. At night, and in areas where there are few taxis, cab drivers will often not use the meter, but rather quote you a price before you get in. This price will often be high, however, you can haggle. They will tell you that their price is good because they are "safe". If you don't agree on the price, don't worry as another cab will come along.
Although safety has in recent years substantially improved, catching cabs in the street may be dangerous. Taxi robberies, so-called "express kidnappings", where the victim is robbed and then taken on a trip to various ATMs to max out their credit cards, do sometimes occur, but there are some general precautions that will minimize the risk:
Taxis have special license plates. The registration number starts with "A" for free-roaming taxis, and with "B" for base taxis (registered taxis based on a certain spot, called "sitios"). Base taxis are safer. These plates are white and have a small green and red squares at the bottom corners.
The taxi license should be displayed inside the taxi; usually it is mounted somewhere above the windshield. Check that the photo of the driver on the license is of the actual driver. Make a point of looking at it.
Look for the meter. Without it, they will be more likely to rip you off. All taxis in Mexico city have meters.
If you are nervous, take sitio taxis only. These may be a bit more expensive, but they are well worth the expense.
If you are safety-conscious or require additional comfort, consider radio taxis, which can be called by phone, and are extremely reliable and safe, although a bit pricier than other taxis. Most restaurants, hotels, etc. have the number for radio taxis. Radio taxis will usually give you the price for the trip on the phone when you order them. Radio taxis charge more than regular taxis, but are available all night. Hotel taxis will be significantly more expensive than site or radio taxis.
As with absolutely everything else, risks are greater at night. At night, radio taxis are recommended.
Mexico City is so large, and many street names so common that cab drivers are highly unlikely to know where to go when you give only a name or address of your destination. Always include either the name of the colonia or the district (i.e. "Zona Rosa"), as well as any nearby landmarks or cross streets. You will probably be asked to give directions throughout or at least near the tail end of the journey; if either your Spanish or your sense of direction is poor, carry a map and be prepared to point.
The two most common recommendations for a safe cab riding experience are to make sure you take an official cab, and to notify a person you trust of the license plate number of the cab you are riding. There is a free app available for iphone, andriod and Blackberry (soon) that allows you to verify if a cab is official by comparing the taxi license plate number with the government provided data and that lets you communicate through facebook, twitter and/or email the license plate number of the cab you have taken or even communicte an emergency through these mediums. The free service is called Taxiaviso .
The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about Mexico City
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Mexico City Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.