It happened again last week: In Washington, DC for a wedding, I took a cab from the Mall to my hotel and the driver took what I thought was a suspiciously long route that led to a suspiciously high fare. I didn’t say anything, but you don’t have to put yourself in this position. Most major cities regulate taxi rates, many of which are posted on the web. You can also take advantage of fare calculator sites to give you an idea of how much it costs to go from Point A to Point B.
Of course, most of the cities listed here also have public transportation systems that are much cheaper than cabs. But if you’ve got a lot of luggage, or are wearing high heels for a night on the town, you might want to splurge on a taxi. These sites will help you budget for your trip.
These sites tell you how much it will cost from either a set address or from major points of departure such as airports or tourist attractions. These are only estimates, but they’ll give you a rough idea of how much to budget for your trip from the airport to the hotel.
- TaxiWiz.com calculates rates for 11 US and Canadian cities using Google Maps: New York City, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, San Diego, Vancouver, Washington, D.C. and Montreal. The tool tells you the mileage and calculates the total, including tip. There’s a mobile version, too.
- International Taxi Fare Finder give fares for Barcelona, Boston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, New York, Paris, Prague, Rome and San Francisco. The site claims 85 percent accuracy “and growing.” Also has a mobile version.
Rates for individual cities
These links give you the most up-to-date information.
Boston taxis charge $1.75 for the first eighth of a mile and 30 cents for each additional eighth of a mile. Surcharges for trips to and from Logan Airport are $2.25 and $6 respectively.
Chicago cab rides start at $2.25, and increase 20 cents for each additional ninth9 of a mile. There is an extra $1 charge for for the first additional passenger over the age of 12 and under the age of 65, and 50 cents for each passenger after that.
Las Vegas taximeters start at $3.30 with an additional 20 cents per each eleventh of a mile. This site provides fare estimates for trips from the airport to a number of destinations, including the major casinos.
London has three rate schedules, called tariffs that are based on day or time. Minimum rate is £2.20. Taking a cab during business hours Monday through Friday is much cheaper than traveling by cab on weekends and in the evening, which is in turn much cheaper than traveling by cab at night or on public holidays.
Los Angeles taxis charge $2.65 for the first seventh of a mile and 35 cents for each seventh of a mile thereafter. Surcharges from LAX apply.
Montreal fares start at C$3.15 with an additional charge of C$1.45 per kilometer.
New York City taximeters start at $2.50 plus 40 cents for each additional one-fifth of a mile. There may also be additional charges, which are listed here. The taxi and limousine commission site also gives estimated fares for a variety of destinations from Manhattan.
Paris cabs a charge according to day, time and distance with three tariffs: Tariff A is the cost within the city limits from 10am to 5pm; Tariff B is the cost within city limits from 5pm to 10am and on Sundays and public holidays from 7am to midnight; and Tariff C applies to trips within the city limits from midnight to 7am on Sundays.
Rome also has a three tier system, with rates starting at €2,33 and increasing to €3,36 and €4,91.
San Francisco’s taxi commission lists the names and numbers of the city-licensed cab companies in addition to providing fare information. The meter starts at $3.10 and goes up 45 cents for each additional fifth of a mile.
Washington, DC uses zones, not mileage to calculate fares. This tool will help you figure out the cost.
For cities not listed here, check your destination’s airport website to see how much it costs to get from the airport to the center of town. In sprawling cities like Miami it’s generally best to rent a car rather than relying on cabs and/or public transportation.
photo credit: digiart2001
photo credit: racreations
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