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Port-au-Prince Haiti: Taxis & Rental Cars
Taxis – Tap-Tap, Buses and Motorcycles
In Haiti there are many different form of transportation- There’s the car rental Haiti, the regular taxi with the red ribbon, Tap-Taps, The colorful buses and motorcycles. The most popular form of public transport in Haiti is the ‘Tap Tap’ taxi, which is a brightly painted pickup taxi-truck. It has a capacity of 20-30 people, which is often filled with the maximum capacity. The standard taxi is the ever-present late models usually Toyota or Nissan Sentra with the red ribbon in the front visor. In Port-Au-Prince, they are in great supply and are available to wave down at any time of the day or night in the primary tourist and business areas of the city. Throughout the city, there are numerous taxi stands where taxis, buses, Tap-Taps and Motorcycles line up to await passengers. These taxi stands also exist at or near to most common intersections. In Potion-Ville they also have a Taxi stand with a fleet of yellow cars, they are the only one I know like that. They cater mostly to the elite part of Port-Au-Prince and business people coming out of the airport. The stands range from a formal service with logos (in other words, part of a cooperative) and can be contacted by phone to be pick-up at your required location. They are a little bit more expensive than the others.
Generally, taxi drivers in Port-au-Prince are quite knowledgeable when locating the usual destinations and hotels. But, it is most advisable to write down the address of less familiar destinations on a piece of paper with explanation on how to get there to show the driver before you go. This should include the neighborhood (La Plaine) such as Santo or Croix-Des-Bouquet or L’ile-a Voix. These destinations can be a nightmare if you never been there before, because there are no street name marking like in the state, but only some markings that people write on the wall of their house. So, be prepare when venture to new territories in Port-au-Prince. A car rental Haiti Port-au-Prince will probably be a better choice for
The cost of these yellow taxi in Petionville are higher than the regular taxis or Tap-Taps. They operate by meter which is calibrated by the company. A typical journey in a taxi will cost between $2.00 and $5.00. Depending on the day of the week and time of the day, there are two rates. There are the morning rate and the night rate, it cost more at night because of security reason. The second type of taxi in Port-au-Prince are private cars operated by their owners. They usually do not have identifying markings nor a light on top except for the red ribbon in front of the windshield. These cars do not operate from a taxi meter but just quote a price for the journey and they usually carry more than passenger. Since they will pick-up other passengers along the way, their price is much cheaper than the yellow cab. It is advisable to negotiate (or at least request) the price before starting out, however. As the drivers of private cars are not regulated or controlled by a meter, they can quote whatever price they think is reasonable or that they can get. A good deal would usually be about $3.00 less than what a yellow taxi would cost by meter.
The other type of taxi in Port-au-Prince is the Tap-Tap and colorful buses, they patrol a fix route and carry and drop-off passengers all along the route. These taxis have a fix price and they are the least expensive. They are sometime favorite by the tourist because of the new experience, but be careful some of them are in pretty bad shape. A typical journey will cost between about $0.50 to $0.75, pretty cheap for someone on a budget. Car rental Port-Au-Prince Haiti will cost you a lot more.
Rental Car Haiti
As a tourist in Port-au-Prince, a rental car is not necessary, but if you can afford one, go for it. Taxis are cheap and plentiful and there are other good public transportation options. Renting a car is also somewhat expensive in Port-Au-Prince, but it will give you more flexibility. Parking can also be difficult in downtown. Most hotels have plenty of parking and it’s free. With an Haiti car rental, you also have a bit more security since your not traveling in public. Security is a bit of a concern especially when visiting downtown and some out skirt of Port-Au-Prince. Most tourist feel safer when have a rental car in Haiti.
To rent a car in Port-au-Prince, there are several primary locations. Both airports (Toussaint Louverture International and the main road to the airport) have this service available from a variety of major companies such as Avis, Hertz and Asus Rent-a-Car as well as other companies like Secom and Dollar. These companies also have offices throughout Port-au-Prince and Petion-Ville. It is highly suggested to take the insurance option in case of damage.
There are big multinationals like Hertz, Avis, Budget, etc. But smaller company like Asus Rent-A-Car will give you cheaper rate and better service.