If you’re wondering why different taxi cabs charge you varying rates, even though the distance you travel is the same, you have come to the right place. This is about how taxi cab fares are calculated. Read on so you can choose the best taxi cabs with passenger friendly rates.
- Types of taxi cab fares. Taxi cab fares are classified into two sets: fixed price and calculated price. A taxi cab fare that has a fixed price does not change as you travel, while a fare with a calculated price rises as time goes by and the distance from your starting point increases. Ask the taxi cab driver about the type of fare he uses before you get in so that you can have an idea of how much you will pay for the fare.
- Fixed price fares. Some taxi cabs charge a pre-determined price for traveling from a starting point to a specific destination. For example, taxis coming from the Chicago international airport and going to downtown Chicago will charge you around $50. This fixed amount may increase during holidays and special occasions, when there is an increased need for cabs. You can negotiate this price with the cab driver if you feel that he is charging you an unreasonable amount for his service.
- Cab fares in urban and rural areas. Taxis in cities sometimes base the price of the fare on the areas you will pass through, and the number of city zones that you will cross. In contrast, taxis in the provinces frequently charge fixed rates.
- Calculated price fares. Taxi cab fares that use meters are calculated according to several factors: distance traveled by the taxi, and time spent waiting and not traveling, and time spent by the passenger in the cab. Different taxis use different formulas, and this explains why taxi cab fares vary.
- Entry fees. You are charged a constant amount upon getting inside the cab, and this is called the entry fee. This is usually around $2 to $3. This fee is added to the fare that will be calculated based on time and distance. The entry free varies according to the number of passengers that use cabs in the area you are in.
- Distance fees. When you get inside the cab, the meter will be started, and the distance between your starting point and your destination will be tracked. Some taxis charge a fixed amount for the first number of miles, and this will be combined with the price that is computed from the additional distance traveled. For example, $4 for the first mile, and 30 cents for every tenth of a mile for the distance traveled after that.
- Time fees. Time spent when the taxi is not moving is monitored and charged. When the cab is caught in traffic, the meter switches to waiting mode and the passenger is charged from 30 to 90 cents per minute. You may have noticed that cab drivers slowly move forward in traffic. This is to prevent the meter from switching into waiting mode and lowering the rate. Sometimes travel time is longer than normal; because of this, some taxis measure the amount of time the travel took as well.
These are the ways a taxi cab fare is calculated. The next time you are hailing that yellow cab, remember these tips and prepare accordingly.