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Rome taxis.. sharing sensible advice.

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Feb 18th, 2014, 01:48 PM
  #1
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Rome taxis.. sharing sensible advice.

I should have posted this last May when I was in Rome, but I've been reading some posts where travelers are (rightly so) looking at picking up a taxi at Termini.

I just want people posting here to know that there are still people trying to illegally pick up passengers there.

In my first piece of advice- don't get into a vehicle unless it has a Rome official taxi logo on the side. (http://www.roninrome.com/transportation/taxi-shuttles.

However, you should know that that doesn't guarantee you a proper or legal fare. In May, there were 1/2 dozen official taxi drivers "bidding" for passengers and negotiating fares. In my opinion, this is not right, but I don't see Rome officials doing anything about it.

There is not really a "taxi line" like you see in other places and like at say, the SM Novella station in Florence. True, the taxis are parked in the taxi area, but it is not a single file line with one person directing you to the next taxi in line.

Rather, in my situation, these 1/2-dozen drivers were asking me where I was going. When I said "Trastavere Station", the first guy says, 'Thirty Euro"! I'm like, WHA??? The next guy doesn't even want to take me. Finally, I yell (rather loudly I'm afraid).. "METER"! "Who is willing to take me as a metered fare?"

I see a taxi driver on the line who waves me over. I get into his taxi. Meter said E15 when we got to my apartment (what I expected). He got a good tip, too, for being honest.

I just don't know how to tell people they have to speak up here in order not to get ripped off. It just seems to easy at Termini. (First visit, some guy walked off with our luggage and we asked "official", he says yes, we get to his van and no... no insignia. We took our luggage back.)

Any other frequent Rome Termini visitors, please do give us your input. Thanks!
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Feb 18th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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PS The Roman government could fix this, IMHO, by creating that one line and not letting drivers "choose" their fares. They should be required to take the next person in line wherever they need to go- regardless of how near or far.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 01:51 PM
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PSS And for the metered amount, unless it is strictly zone travel rates.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 02:03 PM
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And be very careful when using a taxi to cross a bridge.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 02:25 PM
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hahaha. It's "under" the bridge, isn't it? hahaha
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Feb 18th, 2014, 04:14 PM
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I'll add this advice: Make sure the meter is turned on.

We picked up a taxi in the early morning at the Campo de Fiori taxi stand to the Vatican Museum for the Pristine Sistine tour. Three taxi drivers were hanging out waiting and chatting. I told them where we were going, the drivers had a discussion and one was selected.

I didn't notice the meter wasn't turned on until half way there. While I read this a common occurance with taxis, I was too focused on not being late and so happy to see taxis at the stand so early.

He didn't get a nice tip, as the fare was about double what it should have been.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 04:52 PM
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A meter doesn't assure you won't be ripped off. If you aren't familiar with Rome, you won't know if you are taking a long route.

This is directions about getting taxis in Rome by the Tourist Board. The rates are also on this link along with info about an app you can download.

http://www.060608.it/en/trasporti/mu...ero-unico.html
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Feb 18th, 2014, 06:01 PM
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Be aware that having the meter on is only the starting point in your adventure in a Roman taxi! A few years back on my arrival afternoon I took a taxi from the stand by the Pantheon to the Borghese Gallery. Cost 15 euro, I handed him a 20 euro bill ... 'no, signora 15, you gave me 5!'. He switched the bills! I had heard of the trick, but was stunned it happened to me so quickly! I did pay another 10, and figured I just had a 15 euro lesson on Roman taxis. Any future taxi payments were made holding up the bill - pointing to the denomination - and repeating the number in Italian, before I would hand it to the driver. The driver usually would smile, he knew I knew the game!
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Feb 19th, 2014, 06:32 AM
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DH and I know our way around Rome, have been there many times, but I still get anxious when having to take a taxi.

On our last trip, we had a problem when we got a taxi from Termini going to our hotel which was near the Pantheon. We got in what appeared to be a proper Rome taxi. The meter in the taxi was turned on. The driver took a route we were unfamiliar with and we started to feel like we were being ripped off. The price on the meter was escalating beyond when I believed it should be. The driver was talking on his cell phone the entire time and we could not get his attention. He kept driving around areas that I knew were not on the way to our hotel. Finally, the taxi got us to about 4 blocks away from our hotel and said he would go no further because of traffic congestion. The fare was 27 Euro. All along we knew we were being ripped off, and there was nothing we could do.

We are heading to Bologna and then on to Rome in about 6 weeks and we need to take a taxi from Termini to our hotel upon arrival from Bologna. Needless to say, I am nervous about this again. It is a shame that something is not being done about this.
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Feb 19th, 2014, 06:56 AM
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Bab - Email your hotel and ask for the estimated cost for a taxi from the train station to your hotel, then set the price with the taxi driver before your luggage is loaded! Good luck!
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Feb 19th, 2014, 07:19 AM
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Arriving at the Airport ( Fiumicino), i had always arranged a private transfer, so i never had to deal with taxis there.

I have been more than 40 times to Rome on business trips and had several meetings to attend every day, taking a taxiwas mostly the only way to be on time.
I always hailed a taxi on the street and never ever had a problem with being overcharged. ( i must say that i do speak italian fluently).

Being Greek from Athens i know most tricks a taxi driver can use, paying according to the meterdoesn't say anything to me,
There have been taxi drivers in Athens on almost daily basis for manipulating taximeters...and i am sure their italian colleagues are not saints either

What i always do in Athens is asking for a receipt and writing down the plate number of the taxi, if i think that i was overcharged, so that i can report it to the authorities.
( although i can imagine that most people will be too lazy for that)
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Feb 19th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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When in Rome, do like the Romans--take a bus.

I always heard how congested Rome was, and how crazy the cab drivers drive. Those people have never lived in Atlanta.

It is a city you can walk yourself to death in. But you'll find the bus network great, and you can get to anywhere in the city promptly and efficiently if you quickly learn how to get around via mass transit.
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Feb 19th, 2014, 08:07 AM
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There are no longer multiple zones in Rome for taxis. The meter switches from one tariff to another depending on the time the trip is taking. You can see the tariffs on the link kybourbon gave. Here is another document, that has taxi tariffs in several languages, and also has the map (on the last page) of the fixed tariff zone for travel too and from airports:

http://www.comune.roma.it/PCR/resour...uglio_2012.pdf

The best way to avoid the bill switching trick is to pay with small notes, €5 or €10.

Most taxi drivers are honest; one taxi driver told me to pay less than what was on the meter because he had run into a detour and had to take a longer route. Twice I've had drivers refuse a tip. Once was when when my granddaughter cut her arm on the Palatine Hill. I asked a taxi if he knew a pharmacy where we could stop on our way back to the apartment. He waited while I bought some disinfectant and gauze, so I wanted to give him a nice tip because the meter doesn't advance very much during waiting time. He wouldn't take the tip.

The taxis in certain spots tend to be corrupt, because there is a culture in those spots, often communicated by the person who manages the taxi queue, that encourages corruption. Another infamous taxi queue is at Ciampino airport, but that must be more difficult now that they have the airport fares painted on the doors.

Once on the way to Fiumicino airport from Termini station, I noticed the driver had the meter on. I told her that I was expecting to pay the flat fare. She said that she put the meter on to see how much money she was losing with the flat fare. (I'm not sure that was true, but she agreed that I was going to pay the flat fare.) As it turned out, in spite of fairly heavy traffic, the metered fare was almost exactly the same as the flat fare, although a few euros higher. This woman had been forced by the other drivers to take me to the airport although she wasn't next in line. Obviously, airport trips are not very popular among the drivers.
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Feb 19th, 2014, 10:00 AM
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Janetd5 - Thanks for the idea - I will do that!

For those that speak Italian - how would I ask the taxi driver (in Italian) at Termini what the fare would be to our hotel which is near Campo di Fiore? And, what do you think would be the approximate fare - does 15 Euro sound right - from Termini to Campo di Fiore?
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Feb 19th, 2014, 10:37 AM
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Bab - Others will provide the sentence ... but I go with my 'menu & shopping' Italian! Quanto costa? (How much?) Quindici (15)? Google translate is good to have on your computer/smartphone, or keep a listing handy, and point to the number! See the attached - mid page has the numbers and pronunciation. http://wikitravel.org/en/Italian_phrasebook Actually, those taxi drivers at the train station likely understand some basic English, maybe not enough to converse with you, but enough to figure out your question.
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Feb 19th, 2014, 10:48 AM
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Thanks again Janet - I will be prepared this time!
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