Are you planning an upcoming trip to a major metropolitan city? Are you going to rely on taxi services while you're there? For many people who have never done it before, hailing and riding in a cab can be a nerve-wracking experience. Some new cab riders have difficulty hailing a cab. And others aren't exactly sure how to give instruction or how to get the best service from their driver. The good news is that hailing and riding in a cab isn't as difficult as you may expect. Follow these three tips and you'll likely find the experience to be pretty simple:
Understand the light system. Most taxis in major cities use a fairly standard lighting system. Once you get comfortable with the system, you can better understand which cabs are available and which ones aren't. Most taxis will have a small sign with numbers on the top of the cab. If only the numbers in the middle of the sign are lit, then the cab should be available for pickup. If the numbers in the middle, plus the side numbers, are lit, then the cab is off-duty. If the nothing is lit, then the cab already has a passenger and is not available. Knowing this system can make it less frustrating when you see taxis passing you by.
Get some help. The easiest way to get a cab is to get someone else to do it for you. This is especially true if that someone is skilled and experienced in getting a cab. A hotel doorman or bellhop is a great person to ask for help. If you're staying in a hotel, call down to the bellhop shortly before you leave and ask him or her to have a cab ready. A small tip for their help can encourage them to assist you for the remainder of your trip.
If you're out and about in the city, simply walk up to the nearest hotel. There may be a line of cabs waiting or you may be able to give that hotel's doorman a small tip to help you out. You'll likely find that they're more than willing to help.
Don't be afraid to give directions. Remember that you are the one in charge when you get in a cab. Most taxi services will make an earnest attempt to take you on the shortest route possible. However, if you disagree with the driver's route, don't hesitate to say something. You can even give them directions as soon as you get in if you want. Also, feel confident in other requests, like asking them to turn off the radio or turn on the air conditioning. You're the boss while you're in the cab.
For more information, contact a taxi service like Union Taxi in the city you're visiting. They may be able to pre-schedule pickup cabs for you.