Save Extra Cash on Your Next Trip with RideGuru

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Disney TaxiWe love how our fans use TaxiFareFinder to continually find the price of their taxi rides around the globe. We are consistently getting feedback through our support inbox, social media, and comments section about how TaxiFareFinder has helped numerous travelers to better plan their transportation expenses for upcoming trips. It makes us happy to hear that our fare calculator is able to help relieve the burden of budgeting for a trip but we also find that many people, while happy they have found an estimate, are upset with the cost that is being calculated.

Travel is expensive and sometimes travelers just have to take a deep breath and spend the money to get from point A to B…but it is not always the case! Our sister site RideGuru may be able to help you save a few bucks on your travel expenses the next time you are looking to cut down on your trip’s budget. RideGuru not only calculates Taxi fares but it also simultaneously calculates the fares of all rideshare companies in your trip location area(s). When the results appear, you will be able to see multiple fare estimates across multiple ride platforms so you can pick the option that is cheapest for you.

ss3RideGuru also provides the option of ‘filtering results’ so you can narrow down your ride options by the number of passengers traveling, luxury vs economy, etc. Many times when people are traveling in a group setting they take 2 taxis to get around, but RideGuru will show you whether it is more economical to take those 2 taxis or one larger SUV. Many times the SUV rides are cheaper and will save the group money as a whole!

Perhaps the best part of RideGuru, is that once you have found your ride option that best suits your needs, you can hail the car straight from the website…saving you precious sightseeing time!

Happy Traveling!

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Yellow Cabs Disappearing in NYC

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taxi graveyardHave you been in NYC lately? Have you noticed a difference in the types of cars transporting people around? According to a video by Interrobang, the yellow cab is disappearing in New York City and is becoming dominated by rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.

In Brooklyn, you can see the “graveyard” of yellow cabs parked along the side of the streets. Many of these cabs are full of drivers sitting on the side of the road waiting for people who are looking for a ride. The price of medallions issued in the city has also been in a steady decline in the past few years.

The number of taxi medallions in NYC was 13,587, and since 2013 the value of the medallion has also been in decline since it reached its high point of over 1 million dollars in 2013. The number of Ubers has now surpassed that of yellow cabs in NYC. Some people find the technology of Uber to be more convenient and easier for them to use.

For other people, however, yellow taxis remain their first choice for transportation, and the yellow cab medallion is not dead yet. As Uber expands to highly technological adaptations such as self-driving vehicles, taxi medallion owners will just have to adapt and change to adhere to the current trends in the industry in order to stay alive.

What is your opinion on taxis versus Ubers in New York City? Or anywhere, for that matter? Is the taxi medallion dead? Let us know what you think!

More than One Taxi Company Shows it’s Possible to Compete with Ridesharing’s Big Two

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taxipeople-1Fast Taxi of Albany, NY has just launched a full service transportation app to compete with the outdated taxi system currently in place in Albany, a city where Uber and Lyft are still banned legally.  In just 3 weeks after launch, the company has over 40 vehicles servicing the area and is growing rapidly. Based on popular ridesharing apps, Fast Taxi has taken advantage of all the great features many consumers have become accustomed to, such as:

– Sending pickup address via gps
– Finding closest driver based on users position
– Tracking driver to your location
– Paying with credit card automatically
– Getting transparent fare estimates

You would expect the clear benefits of ridesharing technology to catch on in every city. The politics of how these companies suddenly started competing with local taxi businesses, however, is an entirely different story. One key point to mention is that most ridesharing apps provide no real form of insurance to their riders, and their drivers are not vetted up to the standard the rest of the transportation industry uses. This is where Fast Taxi, a company who intends for the inevitable ridesharing wars to arrive in Albany, has setup core principles and added new standards to put the customer first. Improvements featured in Fast Taxi and not typical of other ridesharing apps include:

– Fully insured rides
– Allowance of cash payments
– No surge fees
– Advanced bookings
– Fair, transparent pricing powered by TaxiFareFinder
– No account needed (web booking only)

The Fast Taxi App has been very well received in Albany and the company is expected to grow it’s operation throughout the entire state of New York in the coming year. You can expect the trend of taxi service styled ridesharing apps to grow rapidly for the unseen future.

Disclaimer: This post is a guest post written by Fast Taxi of Albany, NY

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Taxicab Industry Changes Since Cubs Last Won the World Series in 1908

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hertzIf you’re a baseball fan (and even if you’re not!), you are likely aware of the fact that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last night, for the first time since 1908! We thought this was a great opportunity to take a look at the history of taxis in America since that time, when taxis barely existed.

First, a brief timeline of the transportation and taxi industry in Chicago, starting in the mid 19th century.

1853: The Parmelee Transfer Company was created to move passengers and baggage between Chicago’s downtown railroad terminals

1899: An electric cab venture opened in Chicago with 100 vehicles. Its success was short-lived.

1902: The first parking garage was created to hold horseless carriages.

1908: Chicago cubs won the World Series for the last time until 2016!

1909: A small group of companies operated a combined 100 rigs which contained “taximeter” and “fare” systems. However, it is argued that this was not considered the start of the official taxicab in Chicago.

It was not until 1914, 6 years after the Cubs last won the series, that the first cab company started in Chicago, called The Yellow Cab Company of Chicago.

The company was founded by John D. Hertz, and was the first yellow cab company to exist in America. Hertz took the results from a survey from the University of Chicago to determine that yellow was the best color for a taxi because it stood out. Hertz succeeded in building the company up into the largest of its kind in the world, operating some 2,000 cabs.

By the early 1920s the taxi industry in Chicago was still largely unregulated. Large automobile manufacturers controlled the industry until after the Depression. There was a surplus of cabs, and coupled with the poor economic conditions at the time, unionization and regulation emerged.

Today, there are about seven thousand licensed taxicabs operating in Chicago. It is still a fairly strong industry even with the increasing dominance of Uber and Lyft across America.

Much has changed since 1908, so congrats to the Chicago Cubs for making history.

Fun Facts:

The cost to take a taxi today from Downtown Chicago to Wrigley Field is a mere $29, according to our fare calculator.

If the Chicago Cubs team traveled between Wrigley Field and the Cleveland Indian’s Progressive Stadium for the World Series via taxi the price would have been $824 per taxi!

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Is Uber Riskier than Taxis?

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lost item in uber

If you need a ride to get somewhere, you may naturally reach for your phone and order an Uber or a Lyft. While there are many benefits of rideshare companies, there are also a few safety concerns regarding rideshare insurance and liability.

Rideshare drivers are exposed to insurance risks because their personal insurance could be dropped if they are using their car for profit by transporting others, and Uber or Lyft might not extend coverage to the driver in every circumstance.

If you are a rider, you could also be exposed to insurance risks because if your driver’s insurance company has dropped his policy and you are involved in a crash, you may not have any benefits to cover your medical expenses. Essentially, you are buying an unknown product because you don’t anything about your driver. There are some very tangible risks with rideshare companies as opposed to traditional taxi or livery services.

Ridesharing Exposes Riders to Insurance Risk

Before you call an Uber or a Lyft, you need to consider the risks that you face when you climb in that vehicle. Drivers for rideshare companies have variable coverage for personal injury protection. That means their personal auto insurance may not cover a crash that happens while they are acting as a rideshare driver. Uber coverage is only good while the driver is signed into the app. What happens if there is a problem and the driver’s cell phone dies or the driver is unable to connect to the Uber app?  Because their coverage is conditional, you can easily be on the hook for your medical bills in the event of an accident.

Ridesharing Exposes Drivers to Risks

There are many car insurance providers who can and will drop you for using your vehicle for commercial use. If you are using your car for rideshare, that qualifies as “commercial use.” If you are only driving part-time, buying commercial auto insurance may be too expensive for you, and without the proper coverage, you could be in big trouble if you are involved in an accident.

You may have to pay for your automotive repairs out of pocket and you could be liable for the medical bills and other expenses incurred by your passengers if they are injured in the crash. This is a risk that most people cannot afford to take.

Rideshare Companies Sell an Unknown Product

While you may think the product you’re using is simply transportation, there is a lot more involved when it comes to ridesharing companies. Unlike taxis and livery services, Rideshare companies are not regulated by the government. Companies like Uber and Lyft, provide background checks on their drivers but they aren’t that stringent. You are putting your life in the hands of your driver, so it is important to know the risks and take proper safety measures.

This article was written by Personal Injury Help, an organization dedicated to providing information about personal injury cases and the personal injury claims process. This article is intended for informational purposes and is not to be construed as legal advice or opinion.

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Finding Lost Items in Your Uber or Taxi

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lost item in uber Did you have a rough night on the town and realize you left your iPhone in the backseat of your Uber?

What do you do next? Luckily, if you’re in an Uber, retrieving your lost item should not be difficult. Rideshare companies generally make it easy for passengers to find the items they accidentally left behind.

Follow these steps to figure out how to get back your lost item from your Uber!

  1. As soon as you realize your item is missing, contact your Uber driver through the Uber app. The app will prompt you to enter your phone number and report the lost item.
  2. Next, the Uber app will connect you to your driver’s cell phone number, you will be able to speak to the driver directly to see if he/she has your missing item
  3. Coordinate with your driver to meet up and exchange your missing item.
  4. If the driver never answers your call, wait 24 hours and let Uber know — they will contact your driver directly for you to ensure you get in contact.

Unfortunately, it is not so easy to retrieve your lost item from a taxi. Taxi services such as the NYC taxi company have a “lost and found” where drivers are able to give any items left in their cab, however there is no obligation for the driver to return any lost items. Most taxi companies also encourage passengers to call their company to report any missing items as soon as possible. Remember to always know the name and taxi number of your cab to make this process easier – getting a receipt is the best way to always ensure you have your taxi drivers information!

Have any horror stories of lost items in your Uber or taxi? Comment below to share!

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How to Become a Taxi Driver

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taxi-sxf_16x9_460x250Thinking about becoming a taxi driver? We have compiled a list of the steps you need to take in order to land the job you want as a taxi driver. The process differs depending on what country you live in, but here we will talk about the process in the United States.

1. Obtain a driver’s license. This one may seem obvious, but it is the first and one of the most important steps you will need to take. Being a taxi driver is a lot of responsibility so it is vital that you are a safe certified driver.

2. Make sure you are old enough. In most states the law is that you need to be 21 years old in order to be a taxi driver, however, depending on the city it may be 18 years of age.

3. Obtain a taxi medallion. This is not required for all cities, but in some it is required that you purchase a taxi medallion in order to operate as a taxicab. This is typically expensive to obtain, so you should consider the cost when deciding if you want to be a taxi driver or not. If obtaining a taxi medallion is not in your budget, you can work for an existing taxi company and use their licensed cars for your shifts. If you choose to work for an existing company you will only get a portion of the fares that come in.

4. Take a health test. A good majority of states will require that you pass a good health test to make sure you do not have any conditions that could potentially endanger a passenger. This may be dependent on the state and taxi company that you are choosing to apply for.

5. Go through a training course. There is no amount of formal education that is required to be a taxi driver, however depending on the city you may need to participate in driving training courses. They could last either days or weeks, depending on the city, and typically cover general driving and safety rules.

6. Go through a background check. In order to be a taxi driver you must go through a criminal background check that may include fingerprints, a medical examination, and drug tests.

7. Decide if you want to be an independent driver. As a taxi driver, you could work for an existing taxi company and receive a percentage of the fares that come in, or you could operate independently and take in 100% of the fares, but also incur all the expenses that come along with operating a business.

As you can see, the process to becoming a taxi driver requires a lot of steps to be taken. This is not something you can accomplish overnight. However, it is a great opportunity to get into the work force, especially because most taxi drivers have the ability to maintain a flexible work schedule, and work when they want to work.

 

 

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Fun Facts about Taxis around the World!

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Film Scene Friday 11

 

1. Apparently, in England, there’s a Town Police Clauses Act of 1847 that some interpret as a permit that allows one to urinate on a London taxi’s left rear wheel provided that the driver’s right hand was touching the cab. The Law Commission refutes this interpretation, but many still debate it. Strange.

2. Sabine Schmitz is a professional motor racing driver for BMW. She also is a taxi driver, earning her the title of the fastest taxi driver in the world. She can drive 20.8km in 9 minutes.

3. The world’s longest taxi ride was completed by three university friends who clocked over 43,000km at a price tag of almost 80,000 pounds on the taximeter. Luckily, as the trio was driving the car themselves they never had to pay the fare!

4. Additionally, the same trio as mentioned above also took home the world record for highest altitude reached in a taxi – over 5,000m!

5. Ever wonder why London black cabs have such tall roofs? In England, there used to be a law that stated taxicabs had to be tall enough for a passenger to sit comfortably while wearing a bowler hat.

6. The first women cab driver in the city of New York was in 1925. By the late 1960s, one out of every ten drivers was female! Now, however, less than one in a hundred New York cab drivers are women.

7. In Japan, the left, rear, taxi door opens automatically for passengers! The driver has a button up front that allows him to open the door from the driver seat.

8. A London black cab can turn on a “two pence” with a turning circle of only 25ft!

9. The composer for the movie “Taxi Driver” died only a few hours after finishing recording the film’s soundtrack. He was posthumously nominated for an Oscar.

10. In Finland, taxi drivers are required by law to pay a fee if they play music in their cars while ferrying customers! Their music fees amount to about $40 a year.

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The Best and Worst Cities to Take a Taxi

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Attention travelers! We compiled a list of the best and worst cities to take a taxi in based on the reputation of the taxi service. We used factors including the quality of driving, quality of vehicles, cleanliness, safety, friendliness, knowledge, availability, and value.

Do you see your city on the list? Have you taken a cab in one of these cities? Let us know!

Which is Safer, Ubers or Taxis?

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uber-vs-taxi

In the news we often see headlined stories about passengers who have been assaulted by their Uber and Taxi drivers. Sometimes people even report being abused more than once. With all the media that the news covers around these incidents, we wanted to see if one of these options (Taxis or Ubers) would be safer to use than the other.

Tracking Police Reports

The first step of this investigation might be to check with the records of reported assaults, and compare how many occurred in Taxis and how many in Ubers in different cities across the U.S.. However, according to this article in The Atlantic, when an incident is reported to the local police surrounding an assault in a cab or Uber, the police report does not include the location of where the offense occurred. So, police departments in major cities have no way to track historical records of assaults that have occurred in taxis or Ubers, which complicates things just a bit.

Background Checks

Now to the topic of background checks. This is a sensitive topic because of course, Uber thinks that they have more intense background checks than taxis, using the example of some drivers who failed Uber’s check but passed the city’s background check to drive a taxi. On the other hand, taxi companies believe that taxi drivers have to undergo more intense background checks than Uber drivers do, because Uber’s records only go back 7 years and they do not use fingerprints. Uber left the city of Austin just to prove that they refused to fingerprint their drivers.

The conclusion on this topic might be that no background checks are perfect, and each of them contain their flaws. And, of course, even a seemingly perfect background check may not catch a potential offender of sexual assault because the person may not have a history of criminal behavior, but humans are also flawed.

Incident Reporting

When an incident is reported in the Uber app, Uber suspends the driver’s access to the app while they are investigating the claim, which means they are not able to drive any passengers. If they find the person is guilty, Uber will deactivate the driver permanently. Taxi commissions have similar processes if a driver is accused of assault, however there is no standard procedure that all taxi drivers undergo when accused.

According to these factors, we cannot come to the conclusion that Ubers are more dangerous than Taxis, or the other way around. The fact of the matter is that assault incidences occur in both, and the best way to insure your safety while riding in an Uber or Taxi is to be aware of your surroundings, travel with a buddy, and be sure to report any incidences that may occur.