Taxi!

The taxicab is the quickest and most comfortable way of getting around almost everywhere in the world. Here are a few tips that will make it easier for you to take taxis in four world cities.

New York
To hail a taxi you need to stand at the edge of the street with your hand in the air. You need to know with which numbered avenue the street you’re going to intersects. The street and number alone may not always be sufficient.

Ten to fifteen percent of the fare is sufficient for the tip.

The fare from JFK Airport to the city center is a flat 45 dollars. Added to this are five dollars and any tolls.

If you take a “limousine”, it is essential that you first ask the driver how much it will cost and try to bargain over the fare.

Every light on a taxi means something.  If only the middle light on top of the taxi is on, it means the vehicle is free. If the side lights are also on, it means the taxi is not in service. If no light is on, the taxi already has a passenger.

You cannot call a taxi in advance by telephone. If you don’t want to hail a taxi on the street, you will need to contact one of the city’s special transportation services.

You can call 311 regarding complaints or lost items.

London
London’s black cabs are just one of the city’s many icons.

Choose taxis for frequent short-distance travel around the city during the day. It will be less tiring than taking the metro and not all that expensive.

If the light on top of the cab is on, it means it is ready to pick up passengers.

Cabs in London are legally required to pick up any passenger who is traveling for a distance up to 12 miles or 1 hour duration.

All London cabs are wheelchair accessible. Assistance dogs may also ride at no extra charge.

Cab fares start from £2.20 pounds sterling and are calculated by a meter. There is a £2.40 charge when you take a black cab from Heathrow Airport, and a £2 charge when you book a black cab by telephone instead of hailing one on the street.

If you don’t want anxiety during your ride to spoil the romantic atmosphere of Paris, there are some things you need to know.

If you are planning to take a taxi in Paris, be sure that you have some change.

You are not required to tip when you take a taxi in Paris. Under French law the tip and any additional charges are automatically included in the final fare. You may nevertheless want to throw in an extra tip to express your personal pleasure.

Hailing a taxi in Paris is not easy. It makes more sense to go to a stand where taxis are waiting.

If you are planning to take a taxi from a touristic attraction like the Louvre or Notre Dame de Paris, be sure to leave some extra time for finding one. You could wait up to 30 minutes.

If you don’t speak French, you might have trouble communicating. It’s a good idea to have the address you want to go to written on a piece of paper in French.

Beijing
Beijing is one of the most populous cities not just in China but in the world. Getting around Beijing with its tens of thousands of taxis raises a few questions.

A taxi from the airport to the city center will cost you 100-200 Yuan.

Definitely have the address you want to go to written down in Chinese, because it’s extremely difficult to find a taxi driver who speaks English in Beijing.

Taxi fares may vary depending on the type of vehicle you take. You will find information about fares on the window of the taxi.

If you are going to a touristic site outside the city center, be sure to bargain and make sure the taxi waits for you. Taxi drivers don’t like to return empty from distant destinations and may be willing to work specially for you for a round-trip or slightly higher fare.

In addition to the licensed taxis, a large number of people are also moonlighting as taxi drivers in Beijing. Do not under any circumstances get into a taxi without a meter.

If you have no information about taxi fares, don’t agree to fixed fares but insist that the driver starts the meter.