Catching a Taxi in Australia
Cabs are called taxis in Australia. As in most countries, you catch (get) a taxi on the road by waving it down. You can also telephone for one to come and pick you up. In addition, you will find ‘taxi stands/ranks’ where people line up for a taxi in busy downtown areas. These can get very crowded at night, so you must be patient!
Unlike other countries, Australian taxis only carry one person/group at a time. A driver will not stop to pick up more people going in the same direction.Keep in mind that the change-over (when the dorvers change shifts) in most cities usually takes place at 3pm and then again at 3am, so at these times it can be VERY difficult to catch a taxi.
Men in Australia, if travelling alone, usually sit in the front seat next to the driver. For safety reasons it is better for women travelling alone to sit in the back seat.
Taxis in Australia always use a meter. If the driver attempts to negotiate a fare with you, insist that they turn on the meter. There will be an additional charge for a trip at night time – usually from 10pm on.
Many taxi companies in Australia have free smartphone apps that enable you to book a car and check its time to arrival. Here is a sample app called mTAXI offered by Taxis Combined.
As well as the metered fare, you will pay a ‘flag fall’ for riding in the cab. This is usually between three and four dollars, depending on the city you are in. You will also have to pay all the tolls for the journey.
Tipping cab drivers is not expected but is appreciated. If you have a friendly, helpful driver you may choose to tip them. If the driver is rude or gets lost, perhaps not.