Getting around Rio by taxi

One of the best ways to get around the city is by taxi cab. It is important to understand that there are legal cabs and others that run illegally and will charge outrageously high prices. Rates are higher Monday through Saturday from 9pm to 6am and on Sundays and holidays. The month of December also have higher rates.

 

Finding a Cab

Yellow cabs with a blue strip on the side are legal. If you see a cab without this design it may be a car that goes only to the airport or the bus station or, it could be an illegal cab. To be sure you will not be overcharged you also have the option of taking a radio cab. These cabs are blue, green or white. While they do cost more than the yellow taxis you will end up paying a fixed rate no matter the time of day or the traffic congestion.

Hiring a Cab

Most cabs will only fit 4 people at a time. When you get into the taxi make sure the driver has started the meter. If not, ask him to do so as this will prevent you from being overcharged. Feel free to share a cab with other travelers as this will help cut the cost. Avoid catching a cab parked out front of a nightclub or restaurant as the prices will be higher. Instead, try and catch a cab off the street. Prefer those from taxi cooperatives, such as Pontual, JB taxi, Coopacarioca and / or from neighboorhods, such asTaxi Urca, Barra Taxi, Transleblon taxi etc. If you are going to a nightclub or sightseeing in Rio or to a restaurant, you can call them and give the address where you are so they can pick you up. Ask your hotel, or search on internet for their contact phone numbers, if they are not listed below this page.

Dos and Don’ts of Hiring a Cab

Always wear a seatbelt if you sit in the front seat. This is the law. Do not to slam the car door when you get into the cab as this is considered an insult to the driver. Do not take a taxi if there is no company name written on the side. It is sure to be illegal. Confirm and reconfirm your destination as some drivers will pretend to know the address.

There are both good and bad cab drivers in Rio. If you find yourself with a bad cab driver, the best thing to do is to get out of the cab as soon as possible and catch another taxi.

If you’re staying at a hotel, ask your concierge to arrange a taxi for you, most Brazilians don’t speak English and your communication with the taxi drivers can be quite difficult. Make sure you carry the address of your hotel written down and show it to driver. Cab drivers usually know their way around the city very well and you shouldn’t have any problems getting back safe to your hotel.

Average fare and time between central points – major taxi cooperatives contacts