Tips to Get a Taxi

Taxi is becoming a headache in Shanghai. I remember about three years ago, taxi is was still abundant resource and I can could hire a taxi easily – empty taxis are were everywhere. (Update: Thanks Fang Fang to correct spelling of this paragraph)

However, recently, it is very hard to find a taxi. It is not rare to wait for half an hour in People’s Square area or Lujiazui area. There are no empty taxi at all and there are more than 20 passengers are waving their hands to call a taxi.

I chatted with a taxi driver on this and he laughed out loudly. He was very kind to share some tips and suggestions he has for passengers to get higher chance to call a taxi in rush hours.

1) Avoid Corners

Typically, if you wave your hand, and there are enough passengers the taxi driver can choose from, he will avoid those who stand at street corners since it will caught attention from police.

2) Avoid crowd

If there are many people standing together and all wave their hands, he suggests that you should stand about 3 meters behind those crowd. Most taxi drivers try to avoid stop before more than one person. It also happens that some one opens the front door and the other one grap the back door, and they start to argue who should take the taxi – it is not easy for any of them to give up after standing their and waving for 20 minutes – It means another half an hour of waiting …. Taxi drivers don’t want to get involved in this. They typically will choose someone who stand behind but also waving – just stop directly in front of one person so others don’t have a chance to catch up.

3) Keep Waving

According to the first rule, even though you think the taxi has slowed down for others, just keep waving. Some taxi drivers will keep moving until they see someone like you they feel comfortable to stop – to avoid conflict.

4) Go to Hotels

To go to hotel front door is a good idea since many taxi drops off passengers there.

It is very interesting tip!

Life in Shanghai is not Easy, isn’t it?

Everyone’s patience is a limited resource. After waiting for taxi for half hour, and there is no order (because everyone line up alone the long street), it seems the only reason to explain why some one get a taxi and others don’t is “good luck”. According to a happiness expert, “When people cannot control their lives and can only rely on luck, people feel unhappy”. That is one reason why people in Shanghai is not as happy as other cities.

13 thoughts on “Tips to Get a Taxi

  1. garrison

    wah

    the tips is very useful for the person who living in hangzhou too, i think,it’s very hard to get a taxi in hangzhou from 5:30pm to 6:30 pm too.

  2. Allen

    Hi,

    Found your website by chance…I’m visiting Shanghai with my parents and I’m trying to book us into a nice hotel. I found 2 hotels with fairly similar names: The Bund Hotel and The Bund Riverside Hotel? Can you tell me which is the nicer of the two to stay at? Which is closer to The Bund and Nanjing East Road?

    According to the Ctrip website: http://english.ctrip.com/supermarket/hotel/hotel.asp?hotel=21072&StartDate=2005-11-2&DepDate=2005-11-3

    The Bund Hotel is at 525 Guang Dong Rd.

    While The Bund Riverside Hotel is at 398 BEIJING EAST ROAD (http://hotelguidechina.com/product_info.php?cPath=35&products_id=244)

    Thanks in advance.

    Allen.

  3. Demetrius

    In hangzhou, i think the taxi drivers will be changing shift between 5 to 6 pm. Which is one of the reasons why you can’t get a cab. In shanghai, especially at night near people sqaure it will take some time to find a cab also the cab drivers does not seem to be happy to go to places near the peace hotel or the bund, they seem to like to overcharge a little bit. Which is why i still prefer metro service even though it is human jam but better than traffic jam or waiting half an hour for cab. While the shanghai railway station is very intersting, always buy a soft seat and not a hard seat. The trip to hangzhou cost 40 yuans and takes 2 hours and make sure you land at hangzhou railway station and not hangzhou north station it hard to get a cab there while suzhou cost 22 yuans and takes one hour. There is one open wet market at shanghai sichuan bei lu near a wholesale garmets complex it much better than going xiangyang market. It sell super cheap clothes, cheap interesting food (50 us cents for a plate of fried noodles with pork and vege) and shows another side of shanghai other than high rise buildings and shopping complex.

  4. billy tang

    wow, is this really true? Do they still have Mercedes Benz taxis? They started operating in low low numbers late 2002. Did they increase?

  5. Coston McPike

    I noiced that the cab drivers said it was better to go to hotels. Well, if you ever move anywhere in the world and youget someplace by taxi, always go to a hotel. Live near a hotel. Hotel’s are always near public transportation if you live anywhere besides America, which has no public transportation. I glad someone finally said to go to hotel’s. I always thoght that but never had anyone agree with me. Enjoy the site…keep up the good work.

  6. Coston McPike

    I noticed that the cab drivers said it was better to go to hotels. Well, if you ever move anywhere in the world and youget someplace by taxi, always go to a hotel. Live near a hotel. Hotel’s are always near public transportation if you live anywhere besides America, which has no public transportation. I glad someone finally said to go to hotel’s. I always thoght that but never had anyone agree with me. Enjoy the site…keep up the good work.

  7. xiang

    In Macau, cabs are quite rare, and it usually costs 15 min to wait for a cab on the street. But a phone-based cab calling system has helped a lot. Just dial the number and wait for the cab in the cafe…

  8. tick

    To Allen, I live in Shanghai. The two hotels are both close to Bund, don’t worry about the distance. But I don’t know which one is nicer.

  9. grace

    after i watched the concert yesterday evening, it is so hard for me to find a taxi. i walked for several minutes and finnally found a dazhong taxi luckily.

  10. spl

    since everyone is finding a quarrel in straw…..

    Life in Shanghai is not Easy, isn’t it?

    Life in Shanghai is not Easy, is it?

  11. Saleena

    I’ll go to Volkwagen plant in shanghai on June. I’m worrying about get taxi back to town.

    Any body can give me some suggestion? If I use taxi toll free, they will come to pick me up?

    Thank you

    Saleena

  12. Gelsey

    hahhaha…. I am doing some research about taxi hiring in Shanghai and I saw this page of yours. And I extremely like this phrase “According to a happiness expert, “When people cannot control their lives and can only rely on luck, people feel unhappy”. That is one reason why people in Shanghai is not as happy as other cities.”

    Its indeed very true.

    BTW, I am an expat in Shanghai for 1 year and a half. I really love your blog as it has provided me real lots of info about Shanghai in English. Really appreciate your effort. Thank you very much.

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