Taxis in Sydney are useful for making short trips, between airport and downtown, or late at night. Otherwise, they are expensive and it is better to drive, take a bus, train or ferry. The taxis in Sydney have a sign on the top (like a police car) that says “taxi”. If the sign is lit up then it means it is vacant. If the sign is not lit up, then it has a passenger.
Taxis charge by meter, which are clearly visible so you can keep check of your fare. All fares are posted in writing on the interior passengers side of the taxi. Drivers must always wear a uniform and have an identity card on show at all times.
In the city CBD they are relatively easy to find and you can flag one down on the street by putting your hand out and they will pull over. A trip from one end of the CBD to the other will be around $10. The hiring charge is $3.50 and it is $2.14 per kilometer after that.
The further you move away from the city, the more difficult it is to find one and prices go up. In that case you can either find a taxi rank which is a taxi stop where they wait for bookings, or you would need to call for one and make a booking. Additional charges apply for phone bookings.
Be aware that taxis that travel on the Harbour Bridge or any toll roads, charge you the tolls in the direction you are going, and also add the toll onto the fare as if they were returning. This is legal and increases the fare. Fares after midnight attract a 20% surcharge until 5am.
When you use a cab you can pay by cash, or credit card or cab charge, and you need to ask for a receipt as they don’t automatically give one.
Drivers in Sydney are often from Asia and many have limited English. Thankfully with the introduction of GPS navigation it makes getting you home a much easier affair. There is no need to tip drivers in Sydney.
The main taxi companies are:
- Taxis Combined 133 300 http://www.taxiscombined.com.au Largest taxi company in Sydney
- Legion Cabs 13 14 51 http://www.legioncabs.com.au Do take online bookings but mostly people just call in Sydney.
- Silver Service 133 100 http://www.silverservice.com.au Slightly premier taxi company – used a lot by businesses
- Premier Cabs 13 10 17 http://www.premiercabs.com.au Do take online booking.