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Tips and Advice On Getting a Taxi in Major International Cities

Updated on December 18, 2010

It is not so much the taxi itself, after all, it is just a vehicle, usually a car. It is more about the standard ops visitors should use to obtain a taxi in several major international cities. While it may sound like a no-brainer, there are techniques, savvy techniques, in waving one down in different parts of the world.

New York City

If you need one between 4-4:30pm, you will be thinking where did they all go? Well, this time frame is when the taxi drivers change shifts. They are not on the street because they are in the office, the car is parked, waiting for the new shift driver to begin.


The larger taxis or cabs are almost always the black ones. Save money and wave down the smaller minicabs like the locals do. They may be harder to spot.


Even though the driver will clearly state he knows how to get you to your destination-beware, he may not. Call the person at your destination, hand the phone to the driver, and let them converse about directions. Hopefully, the driver will get it right in the first call.


If you are on the sidewalk, you must yell loudly and point in the direction you wish to go. A taxi that is going your way will stop- but you must be ready-you must be ready to jump in without delay or the cab will move on. We are talking seconds, not minutes.


If you are searching for a taxi,  look for a non-yellow light in the front window. If you spot one, the taxi is taken and forget it, let it pass. If red, wave like crazy to get the driver attention, red means it is available. When the taxi stops, forget about trying to open the door to get in or out of the cab, the door is on automatic. After the the ride, do not leave a tip for the driver, it is not expected there.

Washinton DC

Just be prepared to share it with unknown strangers going the same direction. Driver discretion to pick up others along the way, not yours.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 7 years ago


    • FGual profile image

      FGual 7 years ago from USA

      When arriving at Tampa Bay airports, play it safe by taking the first cab waiting in line, after writing down the company phone, asking for an estimated cost to destination.

      Off airport use cell phone, give your exact street address, safer than flagging a cab, or ask hotel desk to call.