Taxis can be an efficient and safe way of transporting you around town, depending on where you’re going.
Everyone who’s ever traveled has faced the difficulty of navigating transport in a city that isn’t their home. Whether it’s trying to catch a local train, finding where your hotel shuttle stop is or getting around within your own vicinity – getting around can seem like only half the battle.
Taxis offer an easy, convenient way to get around, but are they really safe? Are they more secure than Uber or other peer-to-peer ride hailing services?
Here are security tips to help you safely and securely take a taxi ride, so that you won’t feel unsafe while riding in the passenger seat.
Arrange it professionally by hiring a professional organizer
Taxis often take priority over rideshares and public transport in certain places, so you should make every effort to arrange for one. People living in particular countries will likely know the trusted taxi firms, while airport taxi services can assist you in quickly finding an experienced driver.
Hotels also often provide their front desk staff with access to prearranged taxi companies for rides. Some more luxurious establishments even provide their own vehicle service – something that could be added to the hotel’s collection.
Make Use of Meters
If you’re taking a taxi, one way to ensure that you won’t end up paying more than necessary is asking the driver to use the meters. This depends on where you are traveling; some countries have regulations setting fixed rates for certain rides (like those taking you from the airport to central area), while others leave it up to drivers – like Paris taxis – so make sure that before departing make sure the driver changes the meter on so there aren’t any unexpectedly high costs at the end.
If your meter is malfunctioning or unavailable, the next step should be to bargain the price. Some cities restrict what you’ll be charged at the airport for trips; if this isn’t an option for you, speak to the driver about your destination and what they plan to charge you.
Before booking a taxi, it’s wise to research the average cost per trip. This way, you’ll know what prices to expect and if the amount seems excessively high, try reaching an agreement between both of you on an acceptable rate before the journey begins. Make sure this is done prior to leaving for home.
Be sure to only use official taxis.
Did you know that, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, everyone lives by the motto “Call a Taxi Driver impromptu!” Call an oncoming vehicle on the street, inform them where you’re going and pay them a few dollars as you exit.
Though taxis can be a convenient way to get somewhere, it may not always be the safest option. Taxi drivers in the official taxi industry must adhere to stringent standards for their vehicles to stay compliant, plus they’re part of an organized group. Therefore, sticking with these drivers – particularly when you flag one down on the street – may offer greater peace of mind than other methods.
Consider using a rideshare app instead.
Rideshare applications provide passengers with more convenience, especially those who experience anxiety while travelling. Features like connecting your ride to others and saving a payment method in the system as well as entering a destination directly into the app make riding much smoother for users.
Cashless payment apps not only make it simpler to use cash, but they also ensure passengers don’t take “the long way” around and provide proof of where you’ve been. Apps like Uber even provide additional safety measures like a panic feature in the app, reporting unsafe drivers, and audio recording while on journey.
Are taxis secure? In the majority of cases, yes. Taxis have a long and storied history, so you can trust official taxis to take you where you need to go. Another option is rideshare apps which provide various security features designed to make sure your journey runs smoothly. If not, take these precautions to guarantee your next taxi journey is as secure as possible.