Monday, 11 August 2008

Buenos Aires Taxi

Taxis in Buenos Aires have a bad reputation for leading people astray or at least taking the long route. There are many stories of people being scammed and fleeced and locals have a deep distrust of taxi drivers and will generally ask for their destination and challenge the driver as to how he will get to the destination. e.g. I want to go to Avenue XYZ cross street ABC - ok? How are you going to go?...Which avenues?? etc etc and so follows a lengthy discussion as per most Latin interactions. Radio Taxis with a visible telephone number on the car are thought safer than those without.

My experience with taxis from Dublin in the 80's was one of a luxury. If you could manage to get one home on a weekend night you had practically won the lottery so the taxi driver was welcome to do a detour if he/she wanted but was generally keen to move on to the next victim. London cabs are probably the most expensive I have ever experienced and although they train for 'the knowledge' it's just not worth that amount of money.

The taxis here are very plentiful and often out number regular cars on the roads but are generally tiny Renault cars that fit 2 in the back and 1 in the front 'normal' sized people. Four customers are possible but typically an uncomfortable squeeze. Add to that the cobblestone streets, bad suspension on the old cars and general crazy driving and it can be a torture trip.

The fare has gone up 50% in the last year but compared to UK, Ireland, USA is still a bargain. A ten minute trip is approx ten pesos = 1.7 GBP pounds or 2.2 Euros or 3.3 $USD and a tip is not customary here, in fact if the fare comes to 10.20 pesos the driver lets you off for 10 even.

What's it like in your neck of the woods?

Tags: Buenos Aires Taxi, Irish taxi, London taxi, New york taxi



Nick August 11, 2008 4:24 am  

Those fares sound remarkably cheap - provided as you say the cabbie takes the direct rather than the scenic route. Cabs here are certainly cheap compared with London - about a pound a mile. And it's always a fun trip because Belfast cabbies chatter away about everything under the sun - and not the racist and reactionary crap you get from London cabbies either.

Maxi Cane August 11, 2008 7:04 am  

Any Taxi I get into these days has a satnav as standard but it doesn't stop them getting lost because there are an increasing amount with limited English, so they mistake your destination for some where else.

Quickroute August 11, 2008 9:39 am  

@ Nick: I got a taxi from Belfast to Dublin once (long story) but it was a most memorable journey because the driver was hilarious and had me in stitches with his stories

@ Maxi: GPS is great so long as you tell the machine the right destination. I've ended up in the completely wrong place a few times because of misspelled streets.

Megan August 11, 2008 12:48 pm  

Distances in the OC are ususally prohibitive, but some of the better bars will get you a cab for free if you are over the limit.

I have noticed lately the trend for attending concerts is to gang together and get a limo.

Xbox4NappyRash August 11, 2008 1:22 pm  

Definitely my biggest pet peeve about living in Holland are taxi drivers.

They ALL drive mercs, and charge accordingly, I'd happily sit in a Lada if it got me home.

The entire Amsterdam taxi industry is run by criminal gangs, with a post midnight cab from Leidseplein to central station costing anything from 20-40 quid. 5 minutes drive.

From the station in my town to my house, not 3km of a straight road, will cost me 15 euro.

No niceties, no chat, and often no idea where they are going.

VE August 11, 2008 3:48 pm  

You want crazy? I took my inline skates down there and skated in those streets. Yes, even that 200 lane street that is the worlds widest...

Baino August 11, 2008 4:31 pm  

The cost in Oz is pretty high and the meter ticks over even when you're standing still. We have a problem with taxis not picking up short fares yet you're required to tell them your destination if you book one from home. Sometimes they turn up.They don't know where they're going and drivers rarely speak intelligable English. When the fam goes out en mass we pay a guy $150 for a minibus for the night - sweeet! Also the local club has a free minibus service if you live within a close radius of the club.

roy (irish taxi) August 11, 2008 8:20 pm  

Here in Dublin Taxis are driven by supermodels (boys and girls) are luxurious, cheap and always take the direct route August 11, 2008 11:06 pm  

Another tidbit, I have had some of my most interesting conversations in Argentina with Taxi drivers. They all have an opinion, that's for sure!

Quickroute August 12, 2008 12:39 am  

@Megan: Free transport from the local - cool!

@Xbox: That sounds extortionate but not that unexpected for the EU

@VE: 2 words - you're MAD! CRAZY - ok 3 words

@Baino: I like the idea of the fam minibus - means everyone can get their groove on - Nice!

@Roy: This is part of your IT arcade game series - right?

@Jamie: They sure like to talk - that's for sure!

Queen Goob August 12, 2008 2:40 pm  

I've only ever taken the "tipsy-taxi" here in the Panhandle and those rides are just have to remember where you left your car the night before.

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