Taxi Options for Expats in Vancouver
There are a number of reliable taxi companies in the greater Vancouver area. Fares can be paid with cash or a major credit card. As of 2008, the Taxi Bill of Rights has been established by the provincial government in order to better safeguard the interests of passengers and drivers. Taxis in Metro Vancouver are now required to post a decal of the Taxi Bill of Rights in the rear window. According to a recent news release by the Ministry of Transportation, “the bill of rights is a statement of principles, clearly outlining the rights of both the passenger and the driver.”
Note that finally, after many years of waiting, ridesharing is finally available for expatriates and locals in Vancouver, including Lift and Uber.
Taxi passengers have the right to:
- Be picked up and transported to their stated destination by any available on-duty taxi driver
- Pay the posted rate by cash, or accepted credit card or TaxiSaver voucher
- A courteous driver who provides assistance, if requested
- Travel with an assistance dog or portable mobility aid
- A taxi that is clean, smoke-free and in good repair
- Direct the route, or expect the most economical route
- A quiet atmosphere, upon request
- A detailed receipt, when requested
Taxi drivers must obey all laws and have the right to refuse to transport a passenger:
- To avoid contravening a law or condition of the license
- To protect the driver’s, or any passenger’s, health or safety
- If the passenger is acting in an offensive manner
- If the passenger refuses to provide a deposit if requested
Procuring a Taxi
There are designated areas around the city where taxis are allowed to stop and wait for passengers. An example of this would be areas just outside the major hotels, close to SkyTrain and Canada Line stations, and major transportation transfer points (example: Broadway and Cambie). Otherwise, you would simply flag one down wherever you are. You can tell that a taxi cab is available for picking up passengers if the light on top is on. If it’s off, this means the cab is unavailable.
The number of taxi cabs in Vancouver has recently been increased to make up for a shortfall, and you can now conveniently dial #TAXI on your cellphone to call a taxi to your location when you are out and about (there is a small fee for this). If you dial the taxicab number directly, there is no charge for the call. Still, late at night, when the bars close around 2 a.m., it can be difficult to get a taxi. Plan in advance for this and have a designated, non-drinking driver in your group, if possible.
If you call ahead of time to request a taxi (and you can order one for a specific time of day), you can specify certain needs, for example, a number of passengers, specials needs passenger, etc.
Drivers may be tipped, but it is not absolutely necessary. If you do tip, and you may well want to as most drivers are extremely courteous and helpful, it is customary to tip between 10 and 15%. All taxi drivers in Vancouver speak English.
Taxis are generally not very expensive. Although it doesn’t seem to be standardized, meters generally start around $3.30. Transportation from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to downtown Vancouver typically costs around $35, depending on the time of day (traffic).
Major Taxi Companies
Yellow Cab—604-681-1111, http://www.yellowcabonline.com/
Offering traditional taxi service and the following additional services:
- Pick-up and delivery courier service
- Airport service
- Jump Start Service
- Predated taxi service
- Call-out feature—free of charge
Black Top and Checker Cabs—604-731-1111 or 1-800-494-1111,
Accepting all major credit cards and offering traditional taxi service and the following additional services:
- Airport service
- 24-hour Courier service
- Jump Start service
- Deluxe transportation for all occasions
May be ordered online: http://btccabs.ca/booking.html
MacLure’s Cabs—604-683-6666, http://www.maclurescabs.ca/
Established in 1911, MacLure’s is the oldest taxi company in the Lower Mainland. Offering traditional taxi service and the following additional services:
- Airport service
- Transport to the hospital for non-emergency visits
- Pre-booking (strongly recommended on the weekend)
- Customized tours of Vancouver
- Wheelchair accessible vehicles
Bonny’s Taxi–604-435-6655 or 604-434-8000, http://www.bonnystaxi.com/
Servicing Burnaby, New Westminster, and Vancouver International Airport. Taxicabs may be ordered online or by telephone.
Offering taxi service to the Burnaby area.
Transportation to and from YVR
Luxury Transport, Inc. — http://www.luxbus.com/airport/
Providing limousine service to and from the airport.
Phone: (604) 522-8484
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Silver Star Limousines — http://www.silverstarlimo.ca/vancouver-airport-limo-yvr.html
Luxury transportation to and from area airports, YVR, Bellingham, Seattle, and Abbotsford.