Whether you are traveling away from home or your vehicle is in the shop for repairs, having access to a cab can be a great way to get where you need to go. Being a cab passenger comes with its own set of unwritten rules and expectations, and you may find yourself wondering how to navigate the world of taxi cabs if you have never ridden in one before.
Here are three tips you can use for your first taxi ride to ensure it goes smoothly.
1. Call ahead of time to reserve your ride.
If you are on a tight schedule and need to arrive at your destination by a certain time, it can be beneficial to call ahead of time to reserve a taxi cab. Hailing a taxi on the street can be thrilling, but it can also be quite time consuming.
If your schedule doesn't allow for the additional time needed to hail a passing taxi, scheduling one to arrive at your location is the best way to make sure that you are on time for your event.
2. Use the right technique.
If you decide that you have time to try and hail a cab like long-time passengers do, it's important that you make sure you are using the right technique. Many people consider hailing a taxi to be an art form. If you follow their advice you will be sure to hail your first cab with ease.
One pointer to remember is to keep your arm fully erect, as a bent elbow could be mistaken for a wave. Step off the sidewalk and into the street a few steps to make yourself more visible (staying close enough to the curb to ensure that no passing cars will be able to harm you), and begin hailing a taxi from at least a block away to give the driver time to change lanes and get to you. Maintain eye contact until the cab comes to a stop so the driver knows that you are attempting to hail his or her taxi.
Using these techniques will help you hail a cab like a pro.
3. Be prepared to pay in cash.
You should plan ahead and be prepared to pay for your fare in cash. Most experienced taxi passengers know that cab drivers prefer cash fares because credit card transactions cost them a small fee (typically 1.95% to 2% of the total transaction). These fees cut into profits, so paying in cash will endear you to your driver and make your first cab ride more pleasant.
Taking a taxi cab can be a great way to travel. If you are new to taxi rides, scheduling your cab ahead of time, learning the proper hailing technique, and bringing along cash for the fare could make the experience less stressful for you in the future.