Getting a Taxi in Miami
Getting a taxi in South Florida can be difficult—especially when it comes to hailing one. For safety and other reasons, a lot of cabs won’t respond except at MIA, the Port of Miami, and train stations. So calling a cab company or hitting a hotel taxi stand is a good idea.
Most Miami taxis are yellow, although you’ll also see some that are black (from smaller companies). Short-haul cars going from the airport are blue. Licensed Miami cabs also must have “taxi” or “cab” and the phone number on both sides of the car, and the car and driver’s license clearly displayed in the car.
If a car acting like a cab isn’t one of these colors, there’s a chance you’re dealing with dealing with an unlicensed cab. We would advise single women in particular to stay out of unlicensed cabs, just to be on the safe side.
One way to make sure you’re getting into a licensed cab is to go to one of the Miami taxi stand locations.
Meters start at $2.50 in Miami, with each additional 1/6th of a mile costing 40¢.
But almost all cab companies in Miami have pre-determined rates for travel into (and out of) Miami Beach’s barrier islands and other nightclub communities popular with tourists. These can range from $30–$60 depending on where you’re going. Almost all taxis will have a map of the barrier islands with rates for each location.
The eight-mile trip from Miami International Airport to Downtown Miami takes 20 minutes and costs about $18. Here are some of the flat-fares from the airport for other destination zones:
- Bal Harbor – $43
- Coconut Grove – $21.70
- Coral Gables – $19
- Downtown Miami – $21.70
- Fort Lauderdale Port Everglades – $76.90
- Key Biscayne – $41
- Port of Miami – $24
- South Beach – $32
- Sunny Isles – $52
- Outside of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties (or if you’re traveling out of one of these counties), you’ll need to tell the taxi company where you’re going when you call. If you don’t, your driver may refuse to drive you.
- If you’re not calling and have managed to hail a cab to go outside these counties, ask for a pre-determined price from the driver before you agree to the ride. It’ll generally be cheaper than if you wait for him to tell you what it is at the end of the ride.
- Anywhere in South Florida, if you enter a cab and do not see a valid license placed in front of the passenger’s seat, get out and call another cab company no matter what the driver says. This isn’t about safety (there are very few taxi-related crimes in fact in Miami) but because if you ride in a taxi without a valid license and there is an incident or accident, you might not be able to hold the driver accountable by law.
- One of the main complaints we’ve heard is that some drivers refuse to take on short-distance fares, e.g., from the Port of Miami to downtown. This can be especially frustrating since public transit options can be limited. Though drivers can be charged a $250 fine for refusing a fare, some still do it. If a driver seems to be turning you down based on where you want to go, remind him about the fine—it might help your cause (though it won’t exactly make for the friendliest of rides!)
If You Need to Rant
If you get bad service from a cab in Miami, call (305) 375-3677.
Got a Miami taxi tip? Send it our way!