FREE Audio/Video Recording Warning Stickers for Drivers

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Our sister site, RideGuru, just released new Dash Cam Warning stickers for Uber, Lyft, and Taxi drivers! Take a look below at their announcement post to order your free sticker today.

While driving for Uber or Lyft has its perks it can also lead to troublesome situations. Many drivers, to avoid being wrongly accused or to secure evidence of wrongdoings, have decided to install dash cam video and audio recorders in their cars. On the help section of Uber’s website, they state that drivers may “install and use video cameras to record riders for purposes of safety.” However, Uber also encourages drivers to check local regulations on using and disclosing their recording equipment. Many areas have laws in effect that require drivers to make their passengers aware of any video or audio recording that may be in progress during the ride.

Of course, you could simply tape a piece of paper up in your car with the warning but why not take it up a notch and display a nice crisp small warning sticker in the back of your vehicle? Some city regulations even allow for drivers to place the warning on the outside of their vehicle which may be more attractive to you. Our free warning stickers can be placed either inside or outside your vehicle and at only 2″x6″ they are not too imposing.

You can order you free dash cam warning sticker here. Make sure to also check out our fun free tip stickers while your there!

Would you ride in a self-driving taxi?

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These days it seems as though every major tech company that is even remotely tied to the transportation industry is working tirelessly to develop self-driving or autonomous vehicles. Will these vehicles fizzle out like Segways or will we soon be entering into this new territory?

In a recent survey published on RideGuru, respondents were asked if they would feel comfortable riding in an autonomous car. Not so surprisingly, 64% answered no. Take a look at the below infographic to see the complete breakdown.

The future of autonomous cars

Why are major tech companies working so hard to develop driverless technology when a large majority of consumers want nothing to do with a “robot taxi”? They must believe the public opinion will shift but they are going to have to do some serious campaigning around the safety aspects of a self driving taxi!

What category do you fall into in regards to autonomous vehicles? Are you ready to jump in a self driving car tomorrow or do you side with the 64% that would not feel safe?

Do I have to tip my taxi driver in 2019?

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How much should i tip a taxi driver?

Five years ago not tipping your taxi driver was considered incredibly rude and almost unheard of. Of course you would tip your taxi driver just the same as a waitress or bellhop. Then everything changed when ridesharing popped onto the scene. Uber and Lyft promoted a “no tipping culture” for their first few years. In fact, it was so heavily enforced that driver’s even faced deactivation if they asked for or hinted at a tip from the rider.

Eventually Uber and Lyft did change their tune after years of backlash from their drivers and both companies now allow tipping, though will still state that it is not mandatory. Through all the confusion, many riders are now unsure if you are supposed to tip or not across all for-hire vehicles.

We are here to say, yes, you should 100% still tip your taxi driver (and while your at it tip your rideshare drivers as well!). Many drivers depend on tips to earn their living and if a driver provides excellent service then it is only appropriate to compensate them accordingly.

What is the appropriate tip amount? The tip percentage can vary from location to location but here are some good rules of thumb to keep in mind when tipping your driver.

In the United States, the standard rate in big cities like Boston, New York to Los Angeles is between 10-20%. To help you decide which end of this bracket you should tip on take a look at the service that was provided to you. Did the driver have impressive local knowledge? Was the speed of service appropriate? How was the driver’s overall demeanor? And did the driver go out of his or her way to help with your luggage or make an extra stop?

In Europe, tipping is not as common as it is in the United States and generally riders will simply tip 1~2 Euros instead of a percentage.

When you start traveling overseas, customs transform and in some cases a simple gesture of gratitude could actually be insulting. For example, the Japanese are uncomfortable accepting tips and are more likely to be confused or offended. Australia, South Korea, Argentina, and Brazil are other countries that do not consider tipping a common practice. Turkish cab drivers do not expect to be tipped, but the cab fare will usually be rounded up. In India, tipping is traditionally not an obligation but it is becoming a more widespread practice. Economic factors in New Zealand, such as the high income tax, highly discourage society from offering gratuity for such services.

If you are interested in comparing all our your rideshare and taxi options and estimated prices before you ride check out our RideGuru Comparison Calculator.

How to Take a Taxi in China

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taxi china

China is a huge country with a large tourism industry. Traveling around the cities and the country can be daunting if you don’t speak Chinese, but you shouldn’t let that stop you. Chinese taxis are easy to use and almost always the fastest way to get around.

Taxis are easily distinguished from other cars in China because they are a bright yellow, red, or green with a, usually, white cloth interior displaying an LED flag in the front windshield. If the flag is lit up, that means it is open and available to be used. If the flag is dark, that means the taxi is in use. Taxis use meters, and pricing is dependent on time and distance. If a driver tries to haggle a price and doesn’t want to use the meter, get out because that is illegal. Taxi rates are set by local authorities and can have a starting price between 5 and 13 RMB. Like in most places, cash is the easiest way to pay for taxis. Most do accept credit cards, but this isn’t an option available to tourists. Make sure to carry smaller bills because most drivers do not accept or break bills over 100 RMB.

Chinese people get in the front seat with the driver, so tourists can do that too. The drivers’ side doors will usually be locked because drivers expect passengers to enter on the passenger side of the car. Conversation is not expected, but ni hao or “nee-how” makes a great impression. Tipping is not the custom in China, and it may even confuse drivers. After paying, wait for a receipt.

Chinese is a difficult language to learn, but you don’t need to speak it to use taxis in China. Drivers are used to tourists and are familiar with the city they work in. Hotel lobbies have cards with the hotel name and address printed in Chinese; make sure to pick one up before you leave. Hotel employees are happy to help you write down the address of the location you are heading to, so you can show that to the driver, who will get you to where you are going. When entering a taxi, hand the driver the card with the name and or address written in Chinese characters. Getting around is as simple as that.

The biggest challenge to using taxis in China isn’t the language, it’s finding an available taxi because they are in such high demand. Rush hour is the worst time to try and hail a taxi. Hotels will be happy to help you hail a taxi. If you’re standing on the street, it can take some patience to hail a taxi, but you will get one.            

Foreign tourists may find the Chinese taxi system daunting, but you shouldn’t. It’s a fast, easy, and affordable way to see the sights and familiarize yourself with the city.

Taking a Taxi in Cancun

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cancun taxi

Cancun is a tourist destination for people looking to get away and relax, but it is also a place with locals getting to and from jobs, errands, and daily activities. Taxis are an important part of the transportation system in Cancun, but it can be a little daunting if you’re a tourist, especially, if you don’t speak Spanish.

Taxis are all over Cancun and can easily be hailed. They are harder to track down during rush hour times in the morning and evening, though.

Taxi prices are dependent on zones, which are set by the local taxi union. Prices vary drastically between zones. The Hotel Zone is the most expensive because it is where the tourists are centered. Locals, on average, pay half of what tourists pay. Tourists in expensive hotels will pay more than tourists staying in budget hotels. Even with tourist pricing, taxis are cheaper in Cancun than in the United States. In the Hotel Zone, taxis cost between 60 and 90 pesos, which is between three and four dollars. A taxi ride from the airport to almost any destination is about 280 pesos or just under $15. Taxis can be rented by the hour or by the day if you want to tour the city or surrounding area. The rate is 250 pesos an hour or 3,500 pesos for a day. Rates are posted outside of hotels, and all taxi drivers are required to carry rate cards with them, which are usually in Spanish. Many drivers will accept payment in US dollars, but the exchange rate will be to their benefit not yours. It is always best to carry pesos if you want to get the best deal on your taxi ride.

Most drivers only speak Spanish, so if you know some or have a chance to brush up, it can be very helpful. Before getting in a taxi, always ask for a price to your destination. ““¿Cuánto cuesta?” is a helpful phrase. Settle on a price with the driver before leaving because you could be gauged if you look like a tourist and don’t ask first. If you want to avoid the hassle, you can use an app, like QuieroTaxi or MyTaxi. They may cost a little more, but that might be worth the convenience if Spanish isn’t your forte.

Taxis aren’t the same in Cancun as elsewhere, although don’t be surprised if some taxi drivers pull over and let other people ride along. You’ll still pay the same as before and so will the other people riding along. Over all the taxis are safe, but they are old. Make sure you’re comfortable with the driver and the look of the car before hopping in. Taxi robbings are not common but not uncommon. If it happens to you, comply. Cancun is safer than other places, but thefts are often accompanied by weapons, so it is best to err on the side of caution. Don’t sit in the front seat. And always make note of the taxi number. Cancun is a great place to vacation. Knowing how to maneuver the taxi system is a great way to feel comfortable getting around the city.

How to Open Car Doors using the Dutch Reach

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dutch reach

This article first appeared on RideGuru. It is a great message to spread and may help save lives!

Cycling, or riding a bicycle, is a great way to get around, commute, be outside, and get some exercise. It has been a very popular way of getting for over a century. Europe is known for their cyclists. Amsterdam has more bicycles than citizens. There are so many upsides to bicycling around, but there are downsides too. Cyclists are a vulnerable demographic, and bicycle fatalities are on the rise and higher than they have been in over twenty years.

A bicycle crashing into a car door being opened by an oblivious driver has been used as comic relief or distraction in many movies and TV shows, but it is no laughing matter. This occurrence causes many accidents every year. These accidents cause injuries ranging from bruises to paralysis to even death. It is serious and almost completely avoidable.

 The Dutch Reach is a simple technique that can save time, money, injuries, and lives. Most people open their car door with the hand nearest the door. This is easy, but allows people to be the oblivious driver from the movies. The Dutch Reach requires people to use the arm opposite the door, causing the body to swivel and look at the mirror to see if there are any bikes coming towards the car.

There are so many ways to prevent bicycle related fatalities, but the Dutch Reach is a new life saving concept. The concept is new to Americans but very familiar to Dutch. It originated in the Netherlands and has been a part of the driving curriculum since the 1970’s. The Netherlands is a country with an enthusiasm for cycling, so it’s no wonder they began preventing fatalities over forty years ago. Today, children watch and learn from their parents. The technique is taught in drivers’ education, and students do not pass the class and earn their licenses without demonstrating properly. The term was coined by Michael Charney in 2016 for an American audience, and he is advocating for cyclists lives by asking for change and that the Dutch Reach be instituted into everyday lives.            

The technique doesn’t take any more time than the old way of opening a door, but the technique can have a huge impact on people’s lives and overall health. As cities continue to grow and people use bicycles as transportation more and more, the Dutch Reach could prove to be incredibly important.

Is There A Difference Between Taxis and Cabs?

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cab or taxi?

Today, the words taxi and cab are used interchangeably by people around the world. History has made the differences non-existent for most, but some do still perceive a difference between the two words.

Before cars, people used to get around by way of horse or horse drawn carriage. Cabriolets were a for-hire means of transportation, and they were a horse drawn carriage. Traditionally, it was a small two wheeled carriage with a roof to protect passengers from the elements and drawn by one horse. Some of the larger cabriolets had four wheels and could accommodate more people, but they were still drawn by one horse. People shortened the word from cabriolet to “cab” as a slang term, and it stuck. They were designed in France during the eighteenth century to replace the heavier and less mobile hackney carriages. Cabriolets quickly became the choice of transportation in Paris and London. They remained as the top for-hire means of transport for almost two hundred years until motorized vehicles replaced horse drawn carriages.

When people started using cars as for-hire transportation the term “cab” stuck. For-hire cars were outfitted with taximeters, which gauged how far a trip was. The word ‘taxi’ is a verb meaning to transport, and ‘meter’ means to measure. To differentiate between the old fashioned cabs and the new fashioned cabs people started calling cars for-hire taxicabs.

Taxicab is an outdated term, but it is still recognized around the world. When Americans started using taxicabs, they shortened the word to taxi or cab. In the U.S. the words ‘taxi’ and ‘cab’ are interchangeable meaning the same thing. Taxi is the most used term, but cab is just as recognizable.

In the U.K., taxi and cab are not always interchangeable and perceived differently. Depending on the location, people have different perceptions of what a taxi and a cab are. Forums online get fairly heated on the topic. Generally speaking, taxis are referring to as black taxis or black cabs. These are the iconic black cars of London. They are diesel powered with a high roof for passengers. Taxis can be hailed on the street. Their drivers are called ‘cabbies’. Cabs, generally, refer to minicabs, which are for-hire standard passenger vehicles. Cabs often require a phone call because they cannot be hailed on the side of the street like taxis. There is a blur between the two terms, but there are distinct differences in perception for U.K. citizens.   

Taxi and cab seem like interchangeable words, and in many places are the world, they are. They were once part of the same word, and one existed before the other. History has a way of blending lines and making distinctions less clear especially linguistically. What was once horse powered is now fuel powered. People still have to get from place to place, so the need for for-hire transportation is no less important.

How to Contact a Taxi

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How to contact a taxi

Taxis are a great way to get around whether you are a local or a tourist. They are a fast and, often, affordable way of getting where you need to go. There are a few ways of snagging a taxi.

In big cities, the easiest and fastest way to hail a taxi is right on the street. Different cities have different ways of hailing taxis. In cities like New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago all you have to do is stand and raise your hand in the air. Making eye contact and searching for a taxi will also help get the driver’s attention and make them stop. In some other cities and at many airports, taxi stands are the de facto way of hailing a cab. There is a stand with a sign saying taxi where people line up. The first person gets the first taxi, the second person gets the second taxi, and so on. In cities where taxi stands are required, they are placed at important spots and at easily accessible locations throughout the city.

If you do not want to hail a taxi, you can always call a taxi company and order a cab. This allows you to set the time and the location of the pick up. It is a great way if you are heading to the airport or have an important occasion and do not want to wait for a taxi or risk not finding one. TaxiFareFinder.com is a great resource to find a local taxi company and figure out your taxi fare. The resource supports cities around the world and can help you find your taxi quickly. Navigate to the homepage of the website. At the upper right hand of the page, you will find a search bar where you can enter your city, zip code, or county. Once the page has loaded, choose the section “Local Taxi Info” to find local taxi companies and their phone numbers. The company name will be on the left and the phone number on the right.

Technology can be useful for hailing or ordering a cab, as well. Some taxi companies have online forms you can fill out to order a taxi. There are also taxi apps, which will help you order a taxi directly from your phone. Mytaxi and Curb are two popular and reliable taxi hailing apps. 

Hailing a taxi should not be hard, but if you have never done it before or you are in a new city, it can be a little confusing, feel free to ask for help from locals on the RideGuru forum.

How to Spot a Fake Taxi in New York City

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nyc yellow taxi

Taxis in New York have strict guidelines regarding the vehicles and fares. There are several ways you can identify illegal taxis so you avoid them at all costs.

In New York City, there are 13,587 working taxis. Each one of these taxis are legal and displays a medallion. Medallions are a signature of legal taxis in New York City. If there is no medallion on the taxi, do not get in the car.

Taxis in New York City are yellow, but there are also black cars. Both of these transportation services are under strict codes of operation set by the city in order to legally operate. There are different markers for each, but one good way to tell if the taxi you are looking at getting into is fake or not is by looking at the license plate. Yellow taxis will have New York license plates that read “taxi” at the bottom. Taxi license plates and medallions will have matching numbers. That number is formulaic and is a number, letter, number, number. There is almost always a small number after the license plate number. The exception is when SBV follows the license plate number, which stands for Stand By Vehicle. Stand By Vehicles are legal taxis owned by large companies; they are used when a car is out of commission or in need of updating.

Black car license plates will begin with the letter “T” and end with the letter “C” and have a long string of numbers and letters between. Black cars are allowed to have vanity plates. If the black car has vanity plates there will be a T&LC in small letters on the bottom of the plate, which is standard in all black car license plates.

If you are still wondering if you should get into a taxi if it is legal, you can always ask the driver to see some identification. They will are required to have identification. You can also ask to see if they have a map available to them. Taxi drivers are required to have a map on them while on duty; if they don’t they are in violation of the law. Fake taxis are a growing epidemic in New York City, but there are signs to help you avoid them. Look for the medallion and at the license plates. The formula will help you evaluate if it is a legal taxi or black cab in New York City.

Taking a Taxi in San Francisco

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Taxi San Francisco

If you find yourself in San Francisco without a car, taxis are a great way to get around. It is a very crowded city, so renting a car and finding parking where you go is a huge hassle. Taxis are affordable and convenient in this gorgeous and interesting city.

Hailing a taxi in San Francisco couldn’t be easier because they are everywhere. If you don’t want to hail one, you can always call and order a taxi directly.. If you feel like using an app to hail a taxi, you can use the Yellow Cab app. There is no easier way to hail a cab than by standing on the street. You can easily tell which taxis are legal because every cab will have “San Francisco TaxiCab” written in big letters on the side and rear of the vehicle. There will also be a TAXI sign on the hood of the car. The taxi is available to pick up passengers if the light is turned on; if the light is off, then they are not able to pick up passengers. To hail a taxi, you want to make sure you are visible to the driver and raise your hand. You have to interact and make sure they see you, otherwise, taxis may continue to drive by without stopping. Some but not all taxis accept credit cards. Cash is accepted by all taxis, but if you need to pay with a card just ask before hopping in. The drivers are incredibly knowledgeable about their city, and they can often point out interesting locations, facts, or places you shouldn’t miss.

Fares are standard for all companies due to regulations, so it doesn’t matter which taxi company you choose. The fee starts at $3.50 for the first ⅕ of a mile. It is an additional $.55 for every ⅕ after that. If you wait in traffic, it is $.55 a minute. If you are being picked up at the airport there is a $4 surcharge. To get to and from the airport is usually between $45 and $50. Other than the airport, most trips are between $12 and $20 around town. If you go more than 15 miles out of town, you will be charged 150% the metered fee.

 Traveling with children can be great, but also requires a little forethought. San Francisco requires children to be in a car seat while in a taxi. You will need to bring your own car seat or call ahead to see if they can provide one for you.

San Francisco is home to the greenest taxis in the country; many are hybrids. Taxis are required to go under regular safety, emission, and meter inspections to ensure they are running at their safest and greenest while not over charging you.

Taxis are allowed to use the Muni, or Red Lanes. Other vehicles are not allowed to use these lanes, but taxis are, which means you can avoid traffic. The use of Muni lanes means you can get to where you’re going faster.   

San Francisco is a great city with lots of transportation options. Taxis are a tried and true way of getting around because they are efficient and cost effective for locals and tourists alike.