Getting a Taxi in Los Angeles
There are two main things to note about getting a cab in LA: (1) it’s not easy to flag one and (2) because the city is so big, few cab companies cover the entire city, making it difficult to connect with a cab at times. As a result, #TAXI is used in LA more than anywhere else.
The good news is, taxis in LA are generally clean, safe, and reliable—all good given there really isn’t any other way to get around unless you have your own car.
Aside from the official franchise taxi operators in LA and their 2,300 taxicabs, there are also “bandit cabs” for hire—but not without some risk. At # TAXI, we would advise single women to stay away from bandit cabs, though groups (especially of guys) should be fine. Franchised LA cabs bear a seal; any cab without the seal is a bandit.
Because LA is so spread out, the distances people tend to travel by cab are often long. LA cab fares are relatively high—even a short trip can cost $20 or more. Taxis currently begin their meters are $2.65 then add $2.45 per mile.
A city ordinance limits airport fares to a $42 flat fare for trips between LAX and downtown, or a $2.50 surcharge for other destinations from LAX.
Check out this Fare Finder for more specific LA fares.
Given LA’s huge car culture, there are a few things you need to know, even as a taxi passenger:
- Buckle up: California has a seat-belt law for both drivers and passengers.
- Allow more time than you think you need: Rush hour traffic can be insane (7am to 9am in the morning, and in the afternoon, 3pm to 7pm).
- Grab a fold-out map: It’ll help you understand the city more, communicate with your driver, and get you there on time.
If You Need to Rant
Call 1-800-501-0999 to make a complaint about bad service from an LA cab.
Got an LA taxi tip? Send it our way!