We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
848 posts
106 reviews
Save Topic
Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

wife and I were there jun 26 on an arriving tav train at noon, went outside to the taxi stand line. maybe 50- 70 people in line. two guys in red not identical shirts were "helping" people get in the taxis. they had no badges or ID cards to identify them as officials of the station. they came down the line and tried to get several people to get out of line and go with them, I could not tell what the reason was, most did not but one or two did.

we stayed in line and when we got to the head of the line the next available taxi was 2 lanes over (about 30 ft) they grabbed our two small roll on bags and led us to the taxi, and made a big display of opening the trunk and car door and then gesturing us into the taxi "madame etc ) as if we were royalty and then of course asking of a tip ("something for us") in english with outstretched hands, and angry when they did not get one (the taxi driver sat on his butt inside the car and did not help load the two small bags.

- I sent an e mail to sncf and they replied today that "we have no employees outside the station". those are not our employees. "

Does sncf run only the trains or the train station also? I emailed back asking who "owned" the taxi stand line.

Does anyone know?

and the taxi meter read 2.8 euros when we got in, was that legit? we did not call a taxi. when we arrived at the hotel the taxi guy added 2 euros to the meter for the bags,

that legit?

Paris, France
Level Contributor
6,833 posts
118 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

Is it just me, or does this seem to be " let's trash the taxis week" ...?

It sounds as if, despite your best intentions, you might have been taken out of line to those other taxis by "clandestin" drivers. If you did not remain in line and take the next taxi that pulled up to the official taxi stand (huge sign, says TAXI), and instead walked over somewhere else, this was probably the case.

SNCF runs the trains, and has nothing whatsoever to do with taxi service.

I have never, ever, been addressed as royalty by a Parisian taxi driver, and never, ever been asked for a tip - and I have taken a lot of taxis in Paris, and still do. Most drivers do, in fact, "sit on their butt" and many do not even offer to load bags, unless you ask for help. So much for all that.

The official, legal "pick-up charge" is 2.80, which will be on the meter when you get in, and the minimum fare (even if you just go one block) is legally 6.80. It is legal to charge 3 EU for each person after 3 passengers in one taxi, and it is legal to charge 1 EU per bag in the trunk, though the first bag is usually free of charge.

You didn't say how much the total fare was, so no way to tell if you were ripped off - or by how much.

From your story, it just sounds like you were treated poorly - if you weren't charged an exorbitant fare,to reach your destination, you would have been extremely fortunate.

Level Contributor
8,114 posts
239 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

The poster was clear...they did not get out of line...they waited got to the front...and then some people grabbed the luggage and took it to the taxi and put it in. It was these unauthorized people that treated them like royalty and then wanted the tip...the driver had nothing to do with it. Lesson learned here: never allow anyone you do not want to take/grab a bag whether it is at a train station or airport or anywhere else. If you do allow it then they assume you will tip them and believe me it can get ugly if you do not. SNCF has no employees outside at the taxi station and really makes no different who owns what everything that happened here could be avoided if prepared. Also I think these kind of "pseudo porters" look for people with lots of luggage/big bags" so traveling with very management roller bag and tote and keeping it in your hands at all times will discourage them from even trying. Thanks for the post as I'm sure many have had similar experience....mostly I find it at airports when you are going home and getting out of a car and there some are authorized...some not. This really had zero to do with taxi drivers and right most will not help with luggage unless asked...same here at home.

Edited: 03 July 2014, 16:35
Val-de-Marne, France
Level Contributor
8,623 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

Except for the strange dispatchers who were either just rude or fake dispatchers, everything else seems legit. I don't know who employs the dispatchers to check that those were real or not though. But the dispatchers don't sound legit, the taxi does.

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5,445 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

So to be clear there are dispatchers at Gare du Nord but not Gare de Lyon?

Paris, France
Level Contributor
6,833 posts
118 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

Maddie - in my experience, there are not always dispatchers at any station or airport - dispatchers meaning someone who is directing passenger flow into the official line of taxis. Usually, they are there, especially during peak travel times and holidays.

The main thing is to get in line and stay put. Just wait your turn and if a taxi can't fit your whole party and luggage, you'll just wait a couple of minutes for one that is large enough.

Palo Alto...
Level Contributor
2,803 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

There are dispatchers at Gare de Lyon. The issue here could have been the timing of the OP's arrival. I don't know the hours that the official dispatchers work but maybe the OP arrived before or after the dispatchers were working or the official dispatchers were not working that day or do not intervene with scam artists because they are too busy dispatching taxis. My guess is that official dispatchers in Paris are provided by some kind partnership -- maybe it is something like the system in New York City where the taxi dispatchers at Grand Central Station are provided by the Grand Central Partnership and dispatchers are only available from 7 AM to 8 PM or 11 PM.

To the OP, the taxi driver may not have gotten out of the car to help you load the bags because he saw someone else doing it. I have been lucky because I have never hailed a taxi while carrying luggage and not had the driver either offer to help or get out of the taxi to put the luggage in the trunk. I though that was the expected behavior so it's good to know that this is not to be expected so that when my luck changes, I will not be surprised.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
848 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

I am the OP. we waited in line.

Its strange to me that there is no official there. in our city there is one, and in NYC and in London (last time I was there).

seems someone inside gare de lyon has a head in the sand thinking, in that they are not aware of whats going on, on their property.

Maybe some drivers participate in this and "allow" them to operate, by not getting out of the taxi and by not addressing the customer.

Edited: 03 July 2014, 18:56
Florida
Level Contributor
17,117 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

Gare de Lyon does not own or operate any taxis, regardless that there is a rank outside the station. So you can let that issue go.

The remaining question is - - did you end up using an official Taxi Parisien with a marker on the roof *, or did you get loaded by unofficial taxi personnel into an unofficial/unlicensed "taxi" ?

* tout-paris.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/vo…

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
848 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

yes, I understand the train station does not operate taxis.!!

they question is do they allow this to go on on their property , at their taxi stand --(people begging for tips)

Edited: 03 July 2014, 19:08
Saratoga Springs, NY
Level Contributor
5,452 posts
144 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Gare de lyon train station taxi stand strange events

They don't allow it, and if police come by, the guys run. But it's hardly dangerous crime and I assume the police have other priorities.