Seattle has a smaller taxi fleet than most major cities do. Taking a cab is not a major form of transportation in the city, and the number of taxis is highly controlled by the city; accordingly, you'll find that rates run higher here. Most people take cabs only to and from the airport and when they go out partying on weekends. You'll often be able to hail cabs on the street in Downtown, but anywhere else, you'll have to call. Expect long waits on Friday and Saturday nights.
Rides generally run about $2.70 per mile. The meter drop alone is $2.50, and you'll pay 50¢ per minute stuck in traffic. Unless you're going a very short distance, the average cost of a cab ride in the city is $10–$25 before tip. The nice thing about Seattle metered cabs is that they almost always accept credit cards, and an automated system calls you on your cell phone to let you know that your cab has arrived. All cab companies listed here charge the same rates. Visit www.taxifarefinder.com before your trip to see roughly how much the fare will be, and the best route to tell your driver to take. Techies might opt to hail cabs with the app Taxi Magic (iTunes or www.taximagic.com), but be aware they're not linked to all the local cab companies, and reviews have been hit and miss.
Metered cabs are not the best way to visit the Eastside or any destination far outside the city—if you get stuck in traffic, you'll pay dearly for it. Take the bus when possible, and ask your hotel for car-service quotes concerning short side trips outside city limits.
Orange Cab (206/522–8800 Seattle; 425/453–0919 Eastside. www.orangecab.net.)
Farwest Taxi (206/622–1717 Seattle Metro Area; 425/454–5055 Eastside. www.farwesttaxi.net.)
Graytop Cab (206/282–8222.)
Green Cab (206/575–4040.)
Yellow Cab (206/622-6500. www.yellowtaxi.net.)
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