San Diego Taxi Information

Photo: Taxi stand at the Hyatt hear the UCSD.

Taxi cabs in San Diego are relatively reliable though, bad service is not unheard of. For the most part, the cab drivers are well mannered, honest, and helpful. Unlike New York city, San Diego does not have many taxicabs cruising up & down the streets. Thus, it can be difficult to "flag down" or "hail" a cab. The best way to get a taxi is to call them or to locate a major hotel or attraction. Most major hotels will have a taxi stand (a line of parked taxis waiting for customers).

Who to Call

San Diego has quite a few taxicab companies, the two listed below have been tested and are generally good; though, service will vary depending on the individual driver. This yahoo site has many taxi services listed.

San Diego taxicabs Orange Cab: I've used these Orange Cabs a number of times and they have performed well every time. I would recommend them.

Yellow Cab: I have used Yellow Cab a few times and they have been satisfactory: no complaints.

If you are staying in a hotel, ask the concierge to call a cab for you. The hotel and taxi company may have an affiliation. This will not make your ride cheaper - but it may lead to better service since the taxis want to maintain a good relationship with the hotel.

How much does it Cost?

Taxicabs are more expensive than mass public transportation because you're paying for the convenience of:
- pick-up & drop-off exactly where you specify;
- leaves as soon as you are in the taxi, it does not follow a schedule;
- you do not ride with other strangers, and
- goes directly to your destination (or so we hope) and does not
  follow a predefined route.

The cost of a taxi ride is composed of: flag fall + rate + wait rate + tip.
  • Flag Fall or Flag Drop is the price you pay just to get onto the taxi. This value is different from city to city, but in San Diego it is about $2.50. This may change due to high gas prices.
  • Rate is the amount you pay per mile traveled. In San Diego, the rate is about $2.50 per mile. Again, rate will probably increase due to rising gas prices.
  • Waiting time is when you are in the taxi, but you are not moving due to a traffic jam. The rate for waiting time is about $20 per hour.
  • Gratuitous Tip of 10% to 15% is typical but no less than $1 per ride. You can give more or less depending on how helpful and personable the driver is.

San Diego taxicabs It is often difficult to predict which taxicabs are the cheapest since those with a high flag drop (initial price) may have a lower rate. Or a cab may have a low flag drop but has a slightly higher rate. The ever changing price should be clearly visible on the taximeter.

By the way, did you know that taximeters were used during ancient Roman times? The axle of a wagon was rigged to release a small ball with each turn. The final cost is calculated based on the number of balls dropped.

Type in "San Diego taxi" for a search

Other Options

San Diego taxicabs If you are traveling in and around San Diego Bay you can hire a water taxi. The water taxi is operated by San Diego Harbor Excursions who also run the Coronado Ferry, whale watching, harbor tours, and cruises. The water taxi has a flat rate of $7 per person.

In and around town, you may see rickshaw-like operations called pedicabs. Here, the "driver" pedals a bicycle which pulls a carriage along. The price depends on how far you go and how many passengers there are. Generally, expect to pay $5 for a short, here-to-there ride and up to $20 for a longer ride. Beyond that, you minus well use taxicabs instead.

If you want to ensure good service, you should consider a limo service. Not all limos are stretch limos, some are luxury sedans whose main purpose is to delivery you from A to B comfortably, reliably, and with minimal fanfare. Kind of like a taxi, but nicer.

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