Bratislava, December 22, 2010 - Unlike some central European cities, Bratislava has a relatively cheap and convenient system of taxis. With a little knowledge of how the system works, tourists can avoid traps and high prices.
Twenty different taxi firms comprising over 1,100 vehicles operate in Bratislava. These taxis usually have the name of the firm written on the side of the car. Also, there are over 150 more independent drivers who work without a firm, which just have a yellow ¨taxi¨ light on the roof. Taxis from a firm are usually cheaper and safer than taxis that do not belong to a firm, partly because drivers working with a taxi firm are held accountable for complaints while independent drivers are accountable to no one.
Independent drivers usually lurk around popular tourist spots: Hviezdoslav Square, near the Slovak Theatre, the main train station, the bus station, the airport, or outside of major hotels. One tourist wrote recently that a traveling from the train station to the city center cost |3.30|, but the trip back cost |16|. This is good reason to remember to always discuss the fare with the driver in advance or have someone call a taxi for you.
When it is necessary to hail a taxi from these tourist spots, choose a taxi from a firm. Some firms include BP Taxi, MB Taxi, Hello Taxi,Otto Taxi, Lady Taxi, ABC Taxi, Merci Taxi, Taxi Taxi, FUN Taxi, Super Taxi, Taxi BP Servis, Taxi Caribic, Hapl Taxi, Taxi Bratislava, Trend Taxi,Yellow Taxi, VIP Taxi, and Profi Taxi. Ensure that inflated rates are not charged when taking a taxi from a hotel.
Taxis charge a lower rate (€ 0.35 ??" € 0.75 per kilometer) if ordered by phone and a higher rate (€ 0.70 ??" € 1.20 per kilometer) if hailed in the street or if entered at one of the many taxi stands around town. These taxi stands are often rented by taxi companies. Note that some firms charge the higher rate for pickups at accommodations.
Inside the taxi, the running meter shows the total price and the rate. Generally, the number 1 displayed on the meter indicates that the taxi was hailed on the street, the number 2 indicates that the taxi was ordered by telephone, and numbers 3 and higher indicate an out-of-town trip. Ensure that the meter is used and that the proper rate is applied.
The total fare includes a |1.10|-|4.00| starting fee, which may be higher for outlying areas such as Vajnory, Cunovo, Rusovce, Devinska Nova Ves, Zahorska Bystrica, Dubravka, Devin, Raca, and Jarovce. It also includes a waiting fee of |0.10 to |0.50| /minute when the car is at rest. The rate multiplied by the distance in kilometers is also included.
A minimum rate of |3.32| is applied by some taxi firms and additional surcharges may be applied by some firms during busy periods such as Christmas and New Year's Eve.
Approximate total prices:
The airport to the city center should cost about |8| for a telephone-ordered local radio taxi, |15| for pre-ordered Airport Taxi, and usually more by taxi drivers without a firm. A transfer from Vienna to Bratislava airport could run about EUR 59.
Within the center, a ride may cost |2| to |7| for telephone-ordered taxis and up to |10| for a taxi hailed on the street.
From the train station to the center, a ride costs about |3.50| for telephone-ordered taxis and more for taxis waiting at the station.
A small tip, rounded up to the nearest 20 or 50 cents, is customary but not required. Though some drivers accept foreign currency at a surcharge, paying with Euros is easier and less expensive.
Riders are entitled to a receipt that is stamped and hand-written. It includes the price of the trip, where the journey began and ended, the license plate number of the car, and the driver´s identification number and the name of the company.
Do not hesitate to ask someone ??" people on the street or hotel or restaurant staff ??" to call a taxi for you. This will avoid a hassle and save you money. Often people will gladly lend a hand. The waiting time for taxis ordered by telephone is usually under 15 minutes in most central areas.
Here are the names and numbers of a few popular taxi companies:
Fun Taxi +421216777 from a mobile phone or 16777 from a land line. Fun Taxi charges |0.56|/km and a minimum |3.30| total cost/trip when ordered from a phone.
Hello Taxi +421216321 from a mobile phone or 16321 from a land line. Hello Taxi charges |0.40|/km and a minimum |3.90| total cost/trip when ordered from a phone.
Profi Taxi +421216222 from a mobile phone or 16222 from a land line. Profi Taxi charges |0.60|/km and a minimum |3.85| total cost/trip for trips under 4 km when ordered from a phone.
Trend Taxi +421216302 from a mobile phone or 16302 from a land line. Trend Taxi charges |0.60|/km and a minimum |3.85| total cost/trip when ordered from a phone.
Taxi Taxi +421216077 from a mobile phone or 16077 from a land line. Taxi Taxi charges |0.43|/km and a minimum |3.00| total cost/trip when ordered from a phone.
Taxi Bratislava +421216300 from a mobile phone or 16300 from a land line. Taxi Bratislava charges |0.47|/km and a minimum |2.99| total cost/trip when ordered from a phone.
Radio Taxi +421216303 from a mobile phone or 16303 from a land line. Taxi Bratislava charges |0.46|/km and a minimum |3.00| total cost/trip when ordered from a phone.
Bratislava Airport Taxi +421 903 853 359
Note: A lit taxi light does not automatically mean that the taxi is vacant. Slovak taxis crossing neighboring countries usually travel without the taxi markings.
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