Transportation, Mexico City
All over the net and in many guidebooks it is written that you should not take the green VW beetles when you want to take a taxi in the city. There are plenty of these taxies everywhere, and they have a very bad reputation. A lot of both tourists and mexicans have been kidnapped, raped, robbed or other things.
Many times the taxies have been stolen, and are driven by criminals. No matter which taxi you take you should always look if they have an ID-card in the frontwindow, and that it fits with the driver. There should also be a number on the taxi that is the same as on the ID-card.
If you want a safe taxi you should take one that is in a sitio, and not hail one on the street. There are also some tourist taxies but these are generally more expencive than the others.
I took a few different kinds of taxies, but I never tried the green VW beetles though. Sometimes I took them from a sitio and other times I stopped them in the street. It wasn't always that they had a ID-card, but I never had any problems. The most scariest time was when the driver had a gun in his hand the whole time, but he got us to our destination and nothing bad happened in any of the taxies.
Traffic will only stop when the light is red. Unlike in many places you may have been, such as Vancouver or Amsterdam, pedestrians have virtually no rights. As a matter of fact, most traffic lights turn red only to let vehicles from a cross street have a turn. Cars will also advance a signal, especially when it is about to change, so don't even try to make a mad dash across if you see that the pedestrian light flashes.
In most cities, catching a cab is the easiest and among the safest modes of transportation.
*****Not in Mexico City.******
1) Never accept a ride from a "taxi" that pulls up along a street. Don't even speak to a supposed taxi driver if the car doesn't look like a cab.
2) Don't hail a taxi that is traveling down the street. If you need to get a taxi on the street, call a "sitio" or authorized radio taxi. See the phone number below. Restaurants and shops can call cabs for you. Ask the person calling to get the car number of the cab they are sending. This way you can make sure that the cab that pulls up is really the one you're expecting.
3) Avoid the VW beetle taxis, even if they are licenced. These are frequently involved in robberies of tourists. While there are plenty of law-abiding cabbies driving these cars, why take the risk? You may be literally in mortal danger. Yes, brutally violent beatings and murders have occurred. You may be kidnapped and driven to an ATM machine and forced to withdraw funds.
4) Never take taxis that are parked outside nightclubs, restaurants, and the Belas Artes museum. The frequency of robberies is even higher among these.
5) Make sure the taxi has a large, laminated licence card visible inside the car. It has the driver's name and photo on it. Check to make sure the person driving and the person in the photo are the same. Also be sure that the taxi *looks* like a cab, with numbers painted on the white plastic roof, the words "sitio" or "taxi" painted on the doors, and with a meter.
6) All sitio taxis are metered. If the driver doesn't have a meter or if he says it's broken, don't ride with him.
7) Consider using a "turismo" taxi. These are more expensive than sitio taxis, but are the safest way to move around. They are unmarked and do not use meters. Ask at your hotel about arranging for a "turismo" car and driver.
When you're looking out your window on the plane, waiting in line for take-off there on the MEX tarmac, it's very comforting to see just how close the riff-raff can get to the aircraft from across the street there at the McDonald's. NOT. Enlarge this picture, and you'll see all the clowns have to do is walk across that little bridge over the highway and bingo! they're at the edge of the damn runway. No one has stopped them from bringing God-knows-what kind of troublemaking devices with them. Put two and two together. Top-notch security, that's what this is. ;-O
Forget the fact they drive terribly... Forget the fact they will probably try to cheat on you and collect more money... The problem with them is that not all of them are really taxi drivers but assaultants that will take you to a lonely place and take EVERYTHING of you...
If you have to take a taxi, go to a hotel and ask for a "taxi de sitio" they will have the phone or stop a real taxi for you...
If you HAVE to take one from the street, look for the big identity card that they SHOULD have in a visible place...
Avoid at all costs taking taxis on the street.
There's been really bad cases of robberies, sexual assaults, and other violent crimes (including killings) perpetrated by taxi drivers and/or accomplices. See Lonely Planet Travelers Book for Mexico for more info.
Rather, call renowned taxi firms, and ask:
-name and ID number of the taxi driver coming to pick you up
- number plate of the taxi
You can also ask someone reliable (ex: hotel clerk) to note the plate number and where you intend to go.
Taxi Radio Mex
In the country driving is normal and the traffic is generally sparse. If you overtake a car and he puts his left blinker on and no turnoff is insight, this 'usually' means you can pass him. Don't do this in the city though. Driving at night is dangerous. Mexican cars don't use their lights until it is pitch black. Some of them don't even have lights, front or back. Animals tend to walk on the road at night and so do people. Even in daylight you will encounter cows, horses, and goats on the road. If you have to drive at night, deep it slow and don't overdrive your headlights. The curves are not well marked. Trucks do not dim their lights until the last second and that makes it hard to see the road because of no fog lines on the right side. On a lot of roads the shoulder is nonexistent. You will see a lot of old car hulks by the edge of the road along with animal bodies.
A few terns to pick up are:
Curva peligrosa is dangerous curve.
Vado is dip in the road. Alto is stop.
Despacio is slow.
You should BE AWARE OF TAXIS! Here is a very good link explaining what to take into consideration when taking a taxi-ride!
I used taxis from hotels, more reliable than the green ones! Just go at the entrance of a 4-5 stars hotel and ask the doorboy to order you a hotel-taxi!
...as I was only there for a couple of hours I don't have much information from this trip! Here is anyway a link which give some other infos MEXICO CITY
...And one thing is for sure: I'll be back...
Holà! Glad you stopped by ...
At present, it is still considered extremely unsafe (kidnapping/robbery risk) to use the regular taxis -- usually the small green ones. Don't hail a taxi from the street, rather call one in advance or take one from your hotel.
Ok, my friend who lives in Mexico City (that's her in the photo) says she was robbed by a taxi driver. The bad thing is she was with two other people, her aunt and a male cousin. When the male cousin resisted the cab driver hit him in the face with his gun. So the government reports about avoiding those green and white taxis are true. They are definitely dangerous even though I have taken them every time I was in Mexico City without any incident.
Also, be careful of pickpockets in the Airport. When I was leaving I sat my backpack down, took my camera out of my shorts pocket and put it in a side pocket of my backpack, looked up and noticed this mexican kid (16 or 17) watching me intently. Since I was about to check in I didn't think he'd have a chance to really do anything. Somehow in the 15 minutes it took me to get through the line at the airport he got the camera. It had all my film from the past few days which is the only bad thing. So don't underestimate their skill and speed.
I should not have to warn you about the Metro (subway). It is funny because living there I got used to traveling in the stations. When Alma (my wife) went to visit I told her to be careful and as we went down the steps I began to pick up the pace and by time we hit the bottom step I was at a brisk walk. She had a little trouble keeping up at first. Everyone walks extremely fast and the Metro gets almost impossible to board at rush hour.
One other thing which I always tried to do was get out of the city before dusk.
Be careful with the taxis! Just take those ones that have got a picture I.D. outside at the door, and also check if the driver is the man on the photo. The green VW taxis are considered generally unsafe. The best way is to take a taxi at one of the registered taxi stands.
The city’s traffic moves in a very fast pace, so be observant when crossing the streets. In Mexico City the cars and trucks seem to have the right of way rather than the pedestrians. I saw so many close calls, I was surprise that I didn’t see anyone get hit.
The Metro is probably the safest way for the tourest to travel in Mexico City. (There are 'guards' at the various stations who keep an eye out on the passengers.) But even so, don't let your guard down. Keep any bags you may be carrying close and in front of you.
Men in Mexico City seem to love whistling at women and making comments. Don't be too alarmed - they're usually harmless. Again, be careful and use common sense.
About taxis in Mexico City - lots of locals don't even like them. If you find however that you must take a taxi, try to call a taxi service to have one sent to pick you up. Most taxis are green VW Beetles. The driver should ALWAYS have his information card with his photo displayed - if he doesn't, you ought to reconsider getting in the cab.
The Traffic!! Never before had I seen so much traffic!
This city is just so busy, 24 hours a day it seemed to me. At every traffic light children would appear to wash your windscreen or to sell some flowers or a newspaper.