There are several types of taxis in Mexico City.  Knowing the difference between taxi types can mean the difference between safe arrival to your destination or a possible trip to the police station, hospital or worse yet, the morgue.

Tens of thousands of people travel by taxi through out Mexico City daily without any problems at all.  How can you make sure you are safe? There is no sure fire way to avoid all risk of danger, but let’s say that same thing can be true hailing a cab in New York or Chicago.  Ultimately, you are entering into a vehicle with a driver you have never met and you are expecting that your business transaction of cash / charge in exchange for safe transport to your destination will occur without incident.  The vehicle you choose to enter really can be the difference between safety and robbery / kidnapping.

Let’s discuss the different types of Taxis that exist in Mexico City.  We use Mexico City due to the variety of taxi types. It should be noted that when traveling in smaller towns, most taxis will be safe options; however, in a city of 25 million people…you must choose your taxi wisely.  There are five main types of taxi service in Mexico City.

1. Airport Taxis   2. Street Taxis   3. Sitio Taxis   4. Hotel / Restaurant Taxis   5. Uber Taxis

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Airport Taxis:

These taxis are authorized taxis based at the airport.  There are five companies that manage the Airport Taxi business.  No matter which company you choose, they all work off the same flat rate zone pricing matrix that is approved by the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT).  To be clear, these are very safe taxis to take.  airporttaxi

TWO IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER AT AIRPORT:

1. PURCHASE TAXI FARE AT KIOSK

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 11.35.32 PMBefore you leave the customs area of international travel and right outside customs area are kiosks to
purchase your taxi fare.  All 5 companies are located next to each other selling cab fare.  It really makes no difference which company you choose unless you need a large SUV (standard cab is 4 people max).  DO NOT PURCHASE A TAXI FARE COUPON ANYWHERE EXCEPT THESE KIOSKS.  As a foreigner, if you do not purchase your cab fare either inside or exiting customs, you will be accosted by several men asking if you need a taxi.  They will usually be dressed in slacks and a sweater with a button down.  PAY NO ATTENTION TO THESE PEOPLE.  Just say, “no, gracias”.

Terminal1taxmap terminal2taximap2. DO NOT ACCEPT HELP FROM ANYONE BETWEEN THE KIOSK AND THE TAXI STAND OUTSIDE.

Once you have your taxi fare voucher, you need to follow the overhead signs for the taxi stand outside.  It is very well identified and you should need no help from any person in the airport.  Just ask at the taxi kiosk and they will tell you which way to go. I like to put my taxi fare voucher in my bag until I reach the taxi stand because if people see you carrying a taxi voucher, they will bother you.  People will ask if you need a taxi and then help you with your bags, one of two things will happen in this situation; A. They escort you to the normal taxi line and then proceed to insist on a tip.  B. They lead you to an “illegal” taxi that is not registered with the approved companies to take you at your own risk to where you want to go.

In summary, purchase your taxi fare only from the well identified taxi stands.  Pay no attention to anyone who is approaching you between the taxi stand and the official taxi line outside, they will only create problems for you.  Once outside in the taxi line, look for the signs for your taxi company, you will see their cars parked right outside. You will hand your voucher to the person directing taxi line movement and she/he will tear part of the voucher to give to the Taxi Driver so he can get paid and give you part of the voucher as a receipt for the taxi ride.