Taxis in Lima

Old Sep 8, 14, 2:05 pm
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Taxis in Lima

Aside from reserving a taxi/car for airport transfers and asking the hotel to have a taxi pick us up, I was wondering how safe it is to hail one on the street. Also, if it is safe, which service/company is the safest?
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Old Sep 8, 14, 7:13 pm
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Originally Posted by cajunguy View Post
Aside from reserving a taxi/car for airport transfers and asking the hotel to have a taxi pick us up, I was wondering how safe it is to hail one on the street. Also, if it is safe, which service/company is the safest?
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/peru/...cabs-lima.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/peru/...ty-issues.html
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Old Sep 8, 14, 7:27 pm
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On this question there are a lot of opinions out there varying from "don't worry, be happy" to "never never NEVER hail a cab on the streets of Lima".

The truth is that hailing a street cab in Lima involves some degree of risk, because Lima street cabs are almost entirely unregulated. The routine is that you flag the cab and negotiate a fare before you get in, and of course you pay only on arrival to your destination. And you don't tip (but see comment below). If you are carrying bills larger than S/.20 you should confirm that the driver can make change before you board the cab.

The following factors increase the risk that you may be robbed en route:

1) You don't speak Spanish.
2) You don't know the most efficient route(s) to your destination, or worse yet, you have no sense of direction in Lima.
3) You have no idea what a reasonable fare is to your destination.
4) You look like a gringo (fair hair and skin).
5) You are wearing an expensive watch or jewellery.
6) You have a lot of luggage.
7) You are coming from, or going to, the airport or other destination in an unsafe part of the city.

One way of reducing your risk is to look for cabs where the driver is caged inside the vehicle. They do this to protect themselves from assault. Caged drivers are unlikely to be in cahoots with anyone interested in robbing you; they're just trying to make enough money to feed their family. Which is nearly mission impossible on most days, so these guys I often tip.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by Siempre Viajando View Post
On this question there are a lot of opinions out there varying from "don't worry, be happy" to "never never NEVER hail a cab on the streets of Lima".

The truth is that hailing a street cab in Lima involves some degree of risk, because Lima street cabs are almost entirely unregulated. The routine is that you flag the cab and negotiate a fare before you get in, and of course you pay only on arrival to your destination. And you don't tip (but see comment below). If you are carrying bills larger than S/.20 you should confirm that the driver can make change before you board the cab.

The following factors increase the risk that you may be robbed en route:

1) You don't speak Spanish.
2) You don't know the most efficient route(s) to your destination, or worse yet, you have no sense of direction in Lima.
3) You have no idea what a reasonable fare is to your destination.
4) You look like a gringo (fair hair and skin).
5) You are wearing an expensive watch or jewellery.
6) You have a lot of luggage.
7) You are coming from, or going to, the airport or other destination in an unsafe part of the city.

One way of reducing your risk is to look for cabs where the driver is caged inside the vehicle. They do this to protect themselves from assault. Caged drivers are unlikely to be in cahoots with anyone interested in robbing you; they're just trying to make enough money to feed their family. Which is nearly mission impossible on most days, so these guys I often tip.
Completely agree, very good summary !

I would just add to the last point "your route takes you through an unsafe part of the city" - it often happens that the best route between two safe areas pass through a less safe one !
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Old Sep 9, 14, 6:10 am
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Yup. Lots of opinions. Just to add. Since you have already negotiated the fare the driver will, for his own interest as well as yours, drive the best route, no need to worry about that. As well, I agree not necessary to tip. A NA custom that I hope doesn't catch on in Peru. They mostly all have a family to feed, cage or not, and feeding a family is a reason to tip? Anyway, not expected and not necessary.

Also, just tell the driver if you have a large bill (as Siempre Viajando says S/.20 or more) and he will stop at a grifo to change it along the way.

I have a worldwide guideline to try to avoid any taxi driver that is waiting at any airport, on the theory they have time to plan and can be pretty sure of getting a pax with important stuff in the bags. We are most vulnerable when travelling because we have all our stuff. Not always possible, but preference goes to a taxi dropping off a pax.
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Old Sep 9, 14, 9:35 am
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Since I basically(and sadly) only speak Taco Bell and I'm white I think we'll be in for some amazing stories.

I do appreciate ya'lls imput, it does confirm a few things on how to behave and handle myself.
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Old Sep 10, 14, 7:14 am
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Any thoughts on Uber in Lima? I see they are listed there now.
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Old Sep 10, 14, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by bingocallerb22 View Post
Just to add. Since you have already negotiated the fare the driver will, for his own interest as well as yours, drive the best route, no need to worry about that.
Yes, you do have to worry about that. Your statement presumes that the driver has no interest in doing anything other than getting you to your destination and receiving the negotiated fare. But if he has other motives, like to rob you, one clue is that he deviates from the most efficient route, presumably to take you to where his buddies are waiting. There he miraculously runs out of gas (and his gas gauge isn't working, so who knows?) and then you're exposed and at risk.

This routine is not all that common in Lima but it happens, believe me, so you do need to pay attention to the route the driver follows. And of course if you don't know the city and don't know the most efficient route, or you don't have any sense of direction, well, then your risk increases. That's why this was on my list of risk factors.
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Old Sep 10, 14, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by coalex View Post
Any thoughts on Uber in Lima? I see they are listed there now.
Security-wise I'd guess that using Uber will be no more and no less risky than hailing a street cab.
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Old Sep 10, 14, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by Siempre Viajando View Post
Yes, you do have to worry about that. Your statement presumes that the driver has no interest in doing anything other than getting you to your destination and receiving the negotiated fare. But if he has other motives, like to rob you, one clue is that he deviates from the most efficient route, presumably to take you to where his buddies are waiting. There he miraculously runs out of gas (and his gas gauge isn't working, so who knows?) and then you're exposed and at risk.

This routine is not all that common in Lima but it happens, believe me, so you do need to pay attention to the route the driver follows. And of course if you don't know the city and don't know the most efficient route, or you don't have any sense of direction, well, then your risk increases. That's why this was on my list of risk factors.
Yeah, I see what you are saying. Good point. The alternate route for LIM is through the industrial area, saves time missing the Faucett traffic, but I could see someone being concerned if the driver used that route.
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Old Sep 10, 14, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by coalex View Post
Any thoughts on Uber in Lima? I see they are listed there now.
about twice the price of "secure" taxi and not many drivers
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Old Sep 10, 14, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by bingocallerb22 View Post
Yeah, I see what you are saying. Good point. The alternate route for LIM is through the industrial area, saves time missing the Faucett traffic, but I could see someone being concerned if the driver used that route.
I don't mean to overstate the risks. I speak Spanish and I know the city well, and I regularly use street cabs. They're just too convenient!
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Old Sep 11, 14, 5:47 am
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Originally Posted by Siempre Viajando View Post
I don't mean to overstate the risks. I speak Spanish and I know the city well, and I regularly use street cabs. They're just too convenient!
Me too, street cabs is the way I go. Not only convenient, but cheaper and given the number of times I go to/from LIM the savings add up. But for an infrequent visitor not familiar with the way it works the one time money difference is pretty small. More and more I am seeing taxi drivers with Satelitel (3555555) signs waiting for folks, but mostly at domestic arrivals.
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Old Sep 25, 14, 9:41 am
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Siempre, I think Uber would be safer because a third party has the identity of the driver. One solution for the OP might be to use the street cabs for short rides around town and a Green cab from the airport when he is unfamiliar with his surroundings and is laden with all his belongings.
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Old Sep 25, 14, 1:11 pm
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Lima isn't Bogota, and the taxis here don't make a habit out of taking people to ATMs and demanding they withdraw all of their money. Nor do they try and charge me 5 times the amount because I'm a gringo.

I don't see the need for Uber at all in Lima with Easy Taxi being a safe backup for those who feel they are going to be cheated. Remember, Easy Taxi has all the prices programmed into the app so you can just check the fares before boarding, even if it isn't an automated process like Uber is.
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