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Picking up a taxi is transportation option you have from the moment you arrive in Dublin Airport. Generally, they are all very safe, easy to find and recognize. Although there is no specific type of car or they are not all of the same colour as it is the case in other countries, they all have a yellow sign on the top (with the word TAXI in yellow on blue). This sign on the car will also include its taxi registration number.
Years back it was virtually impossible to find a taxi in Dublin at night, or when you really needed one, i.e. on Friday and Saturday nights. Many Dubliner would find themselves in the situation of walking back home. This began the resentment of the average Dubliner to the plight of taxi drivers today.
As of rather recently, taxi licensing regulations changed and the number of taxis in Dublin multiplied. With around 16,000 cars servicing Dublin’s streets, Irish capital city is now dealing with a bizarre situation, having more taxis than Manhattan (which would have about eight times the population). Now it’s really easy to find a taxi in Dublin at any given moment of the day or night, even on a Friday or Saturday evening.
Types of taxis
Dublin has basically three different types of taxis: the regular taxis, the hackney cabs and the limousines. While the regular ones have the distinctive yellow and blue sign on top, hackney cabs are not marked. Regular taxis work on metered rates. You can hail one in the street or go to the nearest taxi stand. The hackney cabs work on fixed rates and can be hired from specialized offices spread throughout the city. However, it is advisable you stay away from the hackney cabs as they tend to overcharge their customers.
If you decide to hire a hackney cab, you should get informed on the rates and distances beforehand. Once you agreed on a price with the driver, you will have to pay it. Hackney cabs drivers are allowed to require their passengers to prove they have the means to pay for the ride beforehand. The same goes for limousine taxis.
Regular taxis charge according to two types of rates - standard and premium. You will have to pay the standard rate during the day (8 AM – 8 PM), while the premium one applies during the night (8 PM – 8 AM) as well as on Sundays and public holidays. The final price will include the initial charge (covering for the first kilometer or a period of 170 seconds), further travel fee calculated per kilometer, and additional extra charges, if any. These may refer to booking, additional passengers or soiling.
The one plus of a Dublin taxi journey is that you will more often than not have a wild and wonderful discussion with a local. However, this experience comes with a hefty price tag attached. Therefore, whenever possible, it is advisable to use other means of transportation.
In most cases you will find a bus route that you can take into our out of the city. If you have to travel at night, you should know that Dublin Bus offers the NiteLink service that travels from town to all the suburbs for a fraction of the cost of a taxi. If you need to get out of the city, you can use the Xpresso buses. A service especially designed for daily commuters, these buses have shorter routes and less stops. Where you are in the city there are also options to rent bikes.