Have you been interested in taking a taxi to get around town, but are afraid that the fare at the end of the ride is going to be much higher than you anticipated? It will help to understand how taxis charge their passengers so you can have a realistic expectation about what a ride will cost you.
A taxi will charge you an initial fare just for getting into the vehicle. This fare is called a flag pull, and the cost of it will vary in each city due to cab regulations. For instance, flag pulls in Chicago are $3.25. The good thing about the flag pull price is that it is consistent no matter how far you ride in a cab.
Travel Time and Mileage
The bulk of your total fare is based off of two costs that add up concurrently over the course of the ride. Travel time and mileage are both billed at different rates to account for how far your destination is and how long it takes to get there. Chicago has rates of $2.25 per mile and 20 cents for each 36 seconds spent in the taxi.
This can affect your ride in several ways. For instance, the shorted route may not always be the cheapest. It could be worth requesting the driver to go out of their way to get to the freeway, even if it takes a few more miles to do so, because you will cut down on the time in the taxi to get to your destination.
Total Amount of Passengers
You are also charged for each passenger that rides with you. Single riders are not charged an additional fee for riding solo, but cities like Chicago charge $1.00 for the second person and 50 cents for each person thereafter.
Be considerate of seatbelt laws while driving in a cab. It may be cheaper to cram a bunch of people into a single cab, but you could receive a ticket if pulled over for not having your seatbelt on. Consider taking two cabs with a large group so each person can ride safely.
Keep in mind that taxis often have a flat fee when traveling to and from the airport. This takes all of the guess work when figuring out your travel plans, since all you have to do is call up a taxi company like Mr Kab Taxi LLC and ask how much their airport fee is from your home.