Your First Taxi Ride: Questions You May Have About Hailing And Riding

Posted on: 30 September 2019

If you've spent most of your life up until this point in a rural area, hailing a cab may not be something you've done often, if ever. If you'll soon be venturing into the city and will need to hail a cab for the first time (or close to it), you may have a few questions. Hopefully, you'll find the answers below.

How can you tell if a cab is available?

Before you can even hail a cab, you need to know which ones are available. Many that you see passing by are probably already transporting passengers! In most cities, cabs have a light-up sign on top of them. If the numbers on this sign are lit, the cab is available. If nothing is lit, the cab is occupied. If the light says "off duty" then the cab driver is probably headed home and is not taking passengers.

How do you hail a cab?

You've probably seen people hail a cab in the movies. They stick their hand out, and the cab picks them up. This is the gist of it, but there's a bit more to it. Make sure you are on the side of the street that faces the direction you need to go. You don't want the cab driver to have to make a U-turn once you're inside! Also, step off the sidewalk and just slightly into the street when hailing a cab. Look the driver in the eyes as you're doing so.

How do you tell the cab driver where to go?

If you're going to somewhere really popular, you can just tell the driver the name of your destination. But otherwise, it's best to know the address. You can't count on the driver knowing where the restaurant, hotel, or other business you're traveling to is. Many drivers know the cities they drive in very well, but giving the address just removes the potential for awkwardness here.

How many people can fit in a cab?

A standard cab is suitable for four passengers. One person can sit in front, and three others can sit in the back. If you have more people in your crew than this, you'll need to take separate cabs. If you need to reserve a few taxis for an upcoming trip, you can contact companies like Union Taxi to learn about your options.

How much should you tip?

As long as your cab driver gets you to your destination in one piece, a 15% tip is customary. You can give the driver extra if they were really friendly, helped you with bags, or gave you advice for getting around the city.