Taking a Taxi in Cancun

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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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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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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.

Taxis v. Shuttles; Which should you take?

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Taxi or shuttle?

Taxis and shuttles have their own appeal, but they can also have their downsides. Though the two are both forms of transportation, they are starkly different and offer different things.  It is important to choose which option is best for you and your trip.

  • Taxis can be hailed and can go to a variety of locations. A shuttle has two destinations and does not go anywhere specific.
  • When you hail a taxi, you are renting the entire space and have all the privacy that entails. When you use a shuttle, you are taking a seat and will be sharing it with other passengers going to the same destination.
  • A taxi is on-demand, which means you can hail a taxi whenever you need one. You do not have to wait for a taxi to arrive. A shuttle has a set schedule with a specific pick up time. You may end up waiting for quite a while for the shuttle. You will also wait for the shuttle to fill up because it does not leave until it has a certain amount of passengers.
  • Taxis are the more expensive option because you are renting the entire vehicle. Shuttles are cheaper because you are sharing the cost with multiple people. Some shuttles are even free because they are provided as an amenity to guests depending on the shuttle service. You will want to check with the shuttle service to see what the exact cost is and if it is dependent on baggage if you have any.
  • Taxis are more convenient because you can make multiple stops if you need to pick people up, drop something off, or any number of reasons. Shuttles do not make any stops because they are a direct transportation option.
  • Taxis do not require advanced reservation and can be obtained spontaneously. You can book a taxi in advance by calling the service and scheduling a pick up time and location. Shuttles may not require advanced reservation, but some do. It is always best to call in advance to reserve your seats on a shuttle so you do not miss out on getting to your destination or saving a few dollars.

            Taxis and shuttles are great ways of getting around. They are especially helpful when you are traveling or getting to and from the airport on a trip. Each have their merits and pitfalls, but they provide a much needed service to people around the world. It’s best to do a little research to see which option best suits your needs, wants, time frame, and location.

Taking a Taxi To or From Reno-Tahoe Airport

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Reno-Tahoe International Airport is a public and military airport three miles southeast of downtown Reno, in Washoe County, Nevada. As the state’s second busiest commercial airport after McCarran International Airport, many travelers use Reno Airport during their travels

One of the fastest and easiest ways to get from the airport to your next destination are taxis. Reno-Tahoe International Airport has a dedicated taxi taxi stand to ensure quality, safety, comfort, and ease for people traveling to and from the airport. The taxi stand is located outside of the D Doors located north of Baggage Claim. They are available twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. For a complete list of taxi companies allowed to pick up at the airport click here.

Taxis in Reno use meters to calculate the pricing. When you enter a taxicab, the driver will start the taximeter and an initial charge of $3.00 will register. After this initial fee, the taximeter will assess a fare of $.26 for each 1/12th of a mile traveled. The taximeter will also assess a charge of $.25 (twenty-five cents) every 36 seconds of waiting time.

If taxis are not for you, Uber and Lyft also operate at Reno-Tahoe airport. Simply order a ride through your Uber or Lyft app and wait at the designated rideshare location. Rideshare pick-up at Reno-Tahoe Airport is allowed in the ground transportation area located north of Baggage Claim. Follow signs outside of the “D Doors”, and at the far north end of Baggage Claim, look for the rideshare shelter. If you want to compare prices between Uber, Lyft, Taxis to find the best option for your journey try using a comparison site like Ride.Guru.

There is tons to do and see in Reno. With a few options to get around, you don’t have to stress about finding your way. Taxis and Ubers are happy to help you make it from place to place so you can start your adventure.

Save Money on Transportation Costs

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Transportation is necessary; everyone has to go somewhere. But transportation is expensive. If you’re a car owner, a car, gas, maintenance, insurance, and more add up to a hefty price tag. If you do not own a car, you still have to get around by way of public transportation or rideshare. Transportation costs money, so how do you lessen the financial burden? Cutting costs can be difficult, and it can take some time and dedication to research.

Most transportation costs come from the commute to and from work everyday. If you drive yourself to work, there are a few ways you can cut costs. Gas is a huge expense, so shop around. Different gas stations have different prices, so using apps like GasBuddy can help you find the best deal. Even saving three cents on every gallon will really add up over time. Gas station rewards programs are a great way to save money on something you have to buy frequently, so sign up for them and use them. There are places that sell discounted gift cards for gas stations. You can purchase the discounted gift card and use them at the gas station, so you save some money. Cars are a huge expense to buy and fuel up. Next time you are looking at buying a car, turn your eyes to the hybrids or smaller cars. SUVs are great, but they are not fuel efficient. Hybrids and smaller cars have better gas mileage and use less fuel, which is good for your wallet and the planet! 

We don’t always travel smart, so start thinking ahead a little bit. There are shorter ways to get places, so the less miles and time put on the car means less money on fuel and maintenance. If you are leaving the house to do something, try and pack several things into that trip so you don’t have to back track or go out multiple times when once would have sufficed.

Toll roads are pain. If there is not a significant difference in time spent in the car, take the free option instead of the toll road. You can end up saving a significant amount of money by just going around the toll roads. You can even choose an “avoid tolls” option on both Apple and Google Maps.

Carpooling is one of the best ways to save on transportation. If you have friends or coworkers who live close by and you’re going to the same destination, ride together. Everyone saves money, and the roads are less congested. This is a win-win for everyone. Carpooling is not always feasible, but when it is take advantage. Public transportation, bicycles, scooters, walking, and more are great low-cost transportation options, but they are not always feasible for people. Cut costs where you can by doing a little research and being as efficient as possible.

If taking a taxi or rideshare vehicle such as Uber or Lyft is your only option try using a fare comparison site like RideGuru to find the cheapest ride for your journey!

What to do when you are lost in a new city.

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Lost in Chicago

So you’re lost. How could anyone possibly be lost in the era of Google Maps and GPS on our phones??? Don’t worry, it happens and it happens a lot. Data and phone service do not work in foreign areas, so you cannot always rely on the same ways of getting around that you would at home.

Doing a little research before you go is a great way of preemptively orienting yourself to your new city. Look at maps and find landmarks the locals and other tourists will know. Find your destination and where you’ll be arriving in the city. The last thing you want to be is lost trying to get to your hotel after a long flight and jet lag. Figure out if you will be walking, taking public transportation, or taxi. If you’re walking or taking public transportation, map out the route you will take from your arrival point to your destination. Maybe even go old school, and print out the map to bring with you.

Try and learn a few key phrases and what the responses could be if you are heading to a country where you don’t speak the language. These can be very helpful if you need directions.

Once you have gotten to your hotel and slept off the jet lag, go for a walk and get a little lost on purpose. Wandering is the best way to familiarize yourself with the city. Follow the main streets and some small streets. Find some landmarks you know and locals know. Figure out how to get back to where you’re staying. Before you know it, you’ll be an expert at the locale.

If you’re lost, don’t panic. It may be hard to follow that advice if you are lost, but there is nothing you can do about your predicament. People are generally nice and willing to help point you in the right direction, so do not hesitate to ask locals. It probably is not the first time, and it won’t be the last.

Always have a meet-up point if you are traveling with more than one person in your group. Hopefully no one gets lost or separated, but it is better safe than sorry. Knowing where you will meet in case of emergency separation is a great way to make sure everyone is found.

Many cities offer amenities aimed at tourists to help them. Tourist information offices almost always have a person who speaks English, and they can help you with just about everything that you might need. If you don’t have data in your locations, you can download the area in Google Maps, which allows you to use your GPS without using data. You can do this before you leave or once you’re there using wifi. London has an insanely comprehensive map book of their city called London A-Z. It is updated every year and includes every street in the city. These are just a couple dollars and available at practically every street corner. See if your location has something similar, it can be a life saver.