If you want the short Rules: Never get a taxi without identification number, especially when the drivers comes to you asking "TAXI???".
If you want to know more about, go on reading then...
In Rome, unlike other transport solutions, taxis are said to be expensive; unless you really need one (i.e. because you are lost, or you are carrying heavy luggage, or you might miss a plane, etc.), remember that from any corner of the city a bus/tramway stop, or a subway/raiway station, are always easily reachable.
Taxi cabs can be found in the streets (wave a hand at them: if they are free, they will stop), or at taxi parkings, located in some major squares or by train stations and airports.
Cabs can be any model of car, but they are always white (although some coloured publicity may cover part of the vehicle).
The two most important features to look for are the "TAXI" notice fitted on the roof, and the municipality's crest with the taxi's own licence number, a sticker found on both sides the vehicle (see picture below).
Most cabs also have a further sticker, not to be confused with the previous one, with the taxi company's name and telephone number, and the car's identification name; the latter usually consists of a city name followed by a number, such as Genova 16, Verona 5, Parigi 23, etc. (sometimes, instead of a city, the first word may be the name of a river, or Alfa, Tango, or similar ones).
Therefore, one thing a visitor should always consider is that there is no way to know in advance how much a taxi ride will cost, distance and traffic being the two main parameters that affect the fare. Other details are the number of passengers, and the number and size of suitcases or any other luggage. Be aware that at night-time, and on Sundays and other holidays, the fees are higher.
the taxi's licence number sticker with the company's name,
telephone nuber and car's name (Verona 5)
As soon as the taxi sets off, the fee meter will not start from 0, but from a small sum (presently, 2.30 Euro), that will slowly increase, according to both distance and time: for this reason it is better to avoid taking a taxi in peak hours and, in the case the car gets stuck in a traffic jam, one can ask the driver to be left on the spot (honest drivers might even suggest this opportunity themselves).
The sum shown on the display does not include a tip. You don't have to tip the driver if you don't want to, although most people do so. Random controls by inspectors have considerably reduced the risk that mishonest drivers may rip off passengers, especially foreigners.
Recently, Rome's municipality has enforced a new rule, by which a full schedule of fares and extra charges should be hung inside the car.
However, in order to avoid any risk, visitors should never accept to board taxis whose meter is kept turned off, whatever reason the driver may claim for this.
If you can't find a taxi in the street or in a parking, or if you wish to be picked up by a taxi on the spot, you can phone a taxi parking spot, or (better) a radio-taxi company, and have a cab sent on the spot. On the right are the telephone numbers of some major taxi companies.
- Radio Taxi : 06 3570
- Pronto Taxi: 06 6645
- La Capitale Radio Taxi: 06 4994
- Cooperativa Samarcanda: 06 5551
- Pianeta Taxi 2000: 06 8822
You will be asked to state the name of the street where you want the taxi to come, and your phone number (make sure you know the number before calling!): the company's operator will ring you back in one-two minutes, to give you the name of the car coming to pick you up. When called over the phone, the driver will switch on the fee meter by the time he receives the call, so when the cab comes, a higher sum than 2,30 will already be due than the one charged when finding a taxi in the street.
Especially by train stations and by the airport, it is extremely important to avoid illegal taxis, which are very likely to cheat tourists, and rip them off. In any case, they will always be more expensive than a legal cab.
They can be easily told by a number of details: their cars do not have any TAXI notice, nor the municipality crest, nor a licence number; they might not even be white and, most of all, never have a meter fitted to the dashboard. Their owners often walk up to tourists and ask "Taxi?": no legal driver will ever offer his service in this way.
- From Termini to B&B Savoia: no more than 15 Euro, 2 people (bags and night service may be charged)
- From B&B Savoia(Piazza Fiume) to Fiumicino Airport (council rate): 48 Euro 2 people.
- From B&B Savoia(Piazza Fiume) to Ciampino Airport (council rate): 30 Euro 2 people.