Taxicab, New Orleans
Taxi's are readily available from the stands outside of baggage claim. For two people going into downtown or the French Quarter, it is a fixed rate of $28. If there are more than two people, the rate is $12 per person. There are shuttlebusses available at a higher rate and some must include a return trip.
If you are headed down to celebrate Mardi Gras, let me give you a major piece of advice... take a cab!
#1 There is no available parking.
#2 It is stupid to drink and drive in this day and age.
I think that is all I should recommend in this tip, although the taxis we used the most were the United Cab chain, which seemed the most professional.
We used United Cab. Can't say it's better or worse, but it seems like our Hotel called them for us, and so did the Hospital and so did the fine folks at Club Colettes.
When I had to go to the pharmacy, the driver hung out waiting for a call (that never came, thankfully!) and he didn't keep the meter running.
This is the most popular (and safest) mode of transportation by night, and convenient by day as well. Many taxis are privately owned, so one will look different from the other -- even those within the same company.
Rates from the airport are $24.00 for 1 or 2 passengers and $10.00 per passenger for 3 people and up.
A taxi ride within the city will cost you $1.20 mile with a $2.50 drop charge and $1.00 charge for each additional passenger.
Trips to the Westbank are an additional $2.00 plus meter. Call the Taxi Bureau at if you have questions about rates or taxi meter charges.
One of the quirks of New Orleans is that the streetcars don't run during Mardi Gras. Of course there are parades during that time, and that's probably why.
I can't find Rocket among the taxi companies listed for New Orleans (at the site listed), so maybe it is one of the individual cabs that are under the aegis of United Cab Company.
We took cab only once - from in front of the Fairmont (next door to our hotel) when we had to get from the hotel down to board the Chalmette Riverboat trip and were in too much of a hurry to wait for the streetcar.
There are many cab companies in and around New Orleans and the French Quarter. I would suggest cabs if you have no other choice and you need to get somewhere quickly.
I wanted to mention this cab company because you can actually call them for grocery pick up, pharmacy pick up and package deliveries (except during special events). In my experience, that's more than what the average cabbie will do.
Open 24 Hours, 365 Days a Year.
The taxi fare for to/from airport is $18/person. A discount will apply to a group of 3 or more.
If you are traveling alone, the airport shuttle would be cheaper.
Depending on the time of the day, but it usually takes 25-35 minutes from airport to city centre.
The prices for taxis have gone up a bit in the last year from $28 to $34 from the airport. But if you have at least 2 people it is still the best, quickest and most cost effective way to get into town. The shuttle buses take much longer and in some cases will only take you to certain stops downtown. Before Katrina, when we owned a B&B here, we looked down the street one day to see two of our guests hoofing it down the street hauling their luggage along. They told us the shuttle bus driver refused to take them the 6 blocks from Canal Street to our place, so they had to walk. I recommended the taxi to people after that.
For the few extra bucks (compared to the shuttle) the taxi is worth it.
As to renting a car, hardly worth it. You can walk everywhere in the French Quarter and there is virtually NO parking there. Oh, you might get lucky once in awhile but not worth it. If you figure the cost of renting a car and paying $30 a day to park it at your hotel to be at least $80 a day, you would be hard pressed to spend $80 a day on taxis. Even running back and forth to the Garden District and Uptown for some of the restaurants and tours, and certainly not for buzzing around the Quarter if you don't feel like walking. Particularly if you have at least a party of two to split the cost of the taxi.
Another consideration is drinking and driving, frowned on here even with our easy going view on drinking. In addition, I never recommend walking outside the French Quarter at night. Taxis here will not give you a hard time for taking a Taxi a few blocks from one side of the Quarter to your hotel that may be a few blocks outside.
Lastly if you happen upon a great cab driver who has lived here for a long time ask him for some recommendations for where locals eat/drink/hang out/hear music. We did on our first visit here and our driver recommended Maple Leaf Bar off Carrollton Avenue (a pretty far distance for most tourists from where we were staying). We probably would have discovered it eventually after we moved here, but God bless him for directing us to one of the top 3 places in New Orleans to hear some of the greatest music you will ever stumble across. We have been going there regularly for the last 6 years.
Enjoy your visit to New Orleans, we enjoy living here every day!
Getting from the airport to downtown or French Quarter could not be easier. The taxis are well organised immediately you leave the baggage claim area and the best part - its a fixed fee. From the airport to the French Quarter is $33 for 1 or 2 people (and the same on the way back) as of April 2013. The cabs will take cash or credit but make sure the driver's credit card machine is working.
After about 1am it can be quite difficult to find a taxi in the French Quarter. If you walk towards the main streets - like Canal, South Rampart, Decatur, or Esplanade - you'll find that it'll be easier to catch a cab. Not only will there be less people attempting to catch one but you'll be further away from them, and closer to the main streets upon which these cabs maneuver.
There's really no need to rent a car, if you stay in the right place.
If you take a cab from the Airport out to your hotel in the French Quarter or the Warehouse District, you'll pay about $30. It's about a 30 minute drive and the cabbies are very friendly!
You'll find cabs just sitting around waiting for people on Bourbon St, in front of your hotel, at the convention ctr, etc. Cabs-a-plenty in NOLA, so no worries.
Plus, you don't really want to drive drunk, do ya? Let them do the driving for you!
Taxis in New Orleans are generally safe and reasonably priced. Many taxis are privately owned, so the quality of the car will vary from cab to cab, but all should have a meter!
A taxi from the airport to downtown (including the French Quarter) costs a flat-rate of $33 for up to two people, plus another $14 for each additional person, and about a buck per bag. Other trips in the city cost about $3.50 to start plus $2 per mile (.25 per one-eighth mile).
United Cabs Inc
1634 Euterpe St, New Orleans, LA 70130
New Orleans Carriage Cab
4431 Euphrosine St, New Orleans, LA 70125
201 N Claiborne Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112
Alliance Cab Service
1836 Saint Bernard Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116
Checker Yellow Cabs
3001 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70119
Liberty Bell Cab
2927 Conti St, New Orleans, LA 70119
Sunset Cab Svc
2721 Frankfort St, New Orleans, LA 70122
Hawk & Jet Cab Company
1836 Saint Bernard Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
White Fleet Cab
3300 Bienville Street, New Orleans, LA 70119
Veterans Cab Co
1010 Wagner St, New Orleans, LA 70114
Planes fly into NO Intl, and there is bus or shuttle service to town.
You can get around easily by foot. The trolley runs out to the garden district. Take taxis at night for safety reasons, even to the Garden District they should be under $10, plus the cabbies are always interesting.
The historic portions of New Orleans are close to each other so the taxi service is fine and the public service bus. The most fun is the St. Charles Street Car.
I usually recommend the St. Charles Street Car line or United Cab to everyone.
We rented a car from the airport....which can be a pain if your hotel doesn't have parking available. There is next to no parking in the French Quarter!
I don't recommend a taxi, unless you're alone. If you're with a group, they charge the meter price, plus an extra dollar for each person over one. So, if your fare is 3.50, and you have 4 people in the car, you pay 6.50 (then a tip is expected too...so it's up to around 8.00-----not exactly a nice policy)! Walking is great in the French Quarter, and the trolley is available around most of the rest of the city for a lot less than a taxi.