However uncomfortable and risk bearing it is to ride on Taxi in Bogota, sometimes it is more than necessary to do so. So in order to avoid succumbing to the overly limiting mobility while living in the demanding city, you can learn the tricks to make safer taxi journeys (though unfortunately it’s more difficult to make it pleasant unless the driver responds to your plead for driving slower)..
First, identify a ‘relatively safe’ vehicle. Do that by checking if the taxi is battered. Bogotáno taxis are yellow, just like New York’s cabs. Sometimes you may find one that looks like a leopard – a vehicle that has grey patches all over the body. The driver appears that he couldn’t be bothered to cover the battle scars with a less obvious color. (Yellow maybe a good choice?) Don’t take that at any cost. A driver who spends money and time taking care of his vehicle is less likely to take the risk working with bandits.
Always try to get a taxi from which someone else just got off. Since it had previously been used by someone else, it’s a ‘safer’ taxi. This is especially true for night time travel. At night, never flag down any empty taxis on the road. Always try to call for a taxi or use those from a taxi stand where they would register your address and the taxi plate number.
Safeguard yourself by choosing vehicles with antenna. These taxis are attached to a radio channel of call centre. You will also find the car plate number, unique identification number and the phone number of the radio channel plastered all over the windows and the body.
Upon getting on, you get further peace of mind when you see the licence of the driver, with all his personal details and his finger print. You don’t wait any longer before texting someone you know the taxi plate number and the unique identification number so they can track down the taxi in case you went missing.
Another item that you need in the taxi is the meter. There should also be a metric chart hanging on the back of the front seat. It shows the price you’ll pay at various distances.
With all these considerations you should be ready for a taxi ride in Bogotá.
Hello Jessica!, excellent article, and good prevention strategies. It is essential to create a preventing culture in the city to be able to tackle this -and many other problems- more effectively. Best,
Thanks Karl, and thanks for sharing your experience as one of the victims!
Any tips you have feel free to share!
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