Buenos Aires Basics

Buenos Aires Basics: Taxis

BA Basics

By | January 19, 2009 | Leave a comment


Taxis are abundant in Buenos Aires, to say the least. Common lore states that 1 in 10 cars in Buenos Aires is some sort of a taxi. The most common taxi in Buenos Aires are black with yellow trim.

The most trusted name in the business is Radio Taxi, which can be contacted by telephone (4585-5544) ahead of time or hailed on the street. Many tourism organizations warn against hailing a taxi on the street, but we see no reason to not hail a Radio Taxi. Since Radio Taxis list the driver’s information on the back of the driver’s seat, many Buenos Aires residents recommend this company as the safest.

Currently the taxis’ starting fee is $7.30 pesos and charge 73 centavos each click during the day, $8.90 pesos and 89 centavos at night (May 2012). Clicks are a combination of time and distance that only scholars understand.

Remises are taxis that are arranged over the phone, and are generally reserved for long-distance trips. Remises will arrive at specified times and locations and have standardized fees, which vary according to distance traveled and/or destination. Remis drivers will even wait at the airports with signs for the arranged client/party. If you want to arrange for a remis or airport pick up let us know!

General Rules of Thumb

Each taxi has a sign in the passenger-side windshield that displays the word, “Libre,” in red letters when the car is available. Be sure to hail a cab on the passenger side of the street in order to be picked up. Once you are inside the taxi, tell the driver the address of, or the closest intersection to, your destination.

Try to keep small bills on-hand to pay for short trips in taxis. Doing so is highly recommended because at times taxi drivers do not have enough change to break big bills. If the taxi driver doesn’t have change for your big bill, either he will wind up with a big tip  or you will end up going on a wild goose chase for change. Also, be careful because taxis have a reputation for passing off fake peso notes as change. For more on this scam and how to avoid it, be sure to read “Buenos Aires Basics: Counterfeit Currency” or “Taxi Scams“. In any case, it is easiest to avoid either of these situations by holding onto smaller bills.

Tipping is not required and by no means expected. Most generous passengers leave the driver the leftover small change, which doubles as a nice gesture because coins are horded.

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