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"Folks Taxi"

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Helsinki, Finland
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56 posts
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"Folks Taxi"

Could anyone please tell me more about this habit of "hitchhiking" to private car (in need on taxi), is this still acceptable way? If so hoe to do it smartly ;-)??

Even some guidebooks have been written about this...

Moscow, Russia
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1. Re: "Folks Taxi"

In Moscow, if you extend your arm from a sidewalk you will see half a dozen clunkers in varying stages of decay swerve towards you like crazy from all six lanes full of traffic, but you do realize they don't do it for free, don't you? Cannot be sure about St.Pete, but when I last was there about a dozen years ago, it was the same as in Moscow.

Helsinki, Finland
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2. Re: "Folks Taxi"

YES, thank you - I do realize they won't do this for free.. just curious to know how this works (or not)..

St.Petersburg
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3. Re: "Folks Taxi"

Although I used to catch taxis on the street a lot now I found out at least in St.Petersburg, that it is way quicker and easier to call for the dispatched taxi. And sometimes even cheaper. So, nowadays I jut call one of many taxi companies (for ex, 6000000) and the taxi comes within 10-15 min.

New York
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for Moscow
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4. Re: "Folks Taxi"

If Moscow is any guide, there are 2 types of cars: decrepit clunkers driven by immigrants who do it for a living. And new(ish) cars driven by locals who may pick you up as long as it's not terribly out of their way. Both may have no clue how to find the place you are going. Price is negotiable.

The third and nasty type is the "taxi mafia" - guys who occupy prime locations like stations and airports and want to charge an arm and a leg. Avoid.

Plymouth, Minnesota
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for Moscow
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5. Re: "Folks Taxi"

Also, while theoretically catching a "private" taxi SHOULD save you money, you kind of have to know reasonable rates, and be pretty good at bargaining, etc...ideally, speaking Russian and not appearing to be a tourist would help as well...

Example...when arriving at a train station, and needing a quick lift to my hotel, I was offered 1000 rubles when I knew a real taxi would do this for 300...so, beware and be wary...

St. Petersburg...
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6. Re: "Folks Taxi"

for catching private car AND saving money:

- speaking Russian - a must

- know the rates - a must

- know where you need to go and HOW to get there

otherwise it's not worth it

St Petersburg Russia
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for St. Petersburg
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7. Re: "Folks Taxi"

Up until recently the private taxis were the most reliable and lowest cost of getting around particularly after buses and metros close for the night. Now, with more and more people not needing the money, or having nicer cars now which they do not want messed up by a wet muddy pedestrian...the main reason you want a taxi anyway, ,when wet and tired of sloshing in slushy dirty snow melt like in the spring, it is much harder to get a car at all.

There still are people who drive around at night, around clubs, popular bars, concert halls etc looking for the income.

It really is easy with only a couple element. First walk off the sidewalk to close to the curb lane and stretch your arm out and look at each car so they know you are wanting them to stop. When a car pulls over, open the passenger side door and announce where you want to go, either by address or nearest major street intersection you are willing to walk from. You can also have your address written in Cyrillic on a piece of paper. You can also point on a map but it should be one large enough to read in the dim light at night, and have its labels in Cyrillic.

I have seen little difference in pricing between locals and what foreigners pay but offer what you are willing to pay. If they are not willing to go there, or for that price, offer more if you want but usually it is better to just get another car. Agree to a sum before getting in.

Prices are almost always lower, and from more cars stopping if the pedestrian is female. Two men seeking a ride will have a harder time getting a ride than a couple. As an aside, it is ill-advised to get into a car that already has other people in it unless they are a mixed gender couple.

Up until the dispatched taxis came on the scene, these amateur taxis carried many more total passengers every night than taxis because they were often easier to deal with and 1/3rd the price.

Now, with competitive dispatch taxis everywhere there is not much difference in price. The old guard Volga taxis that sit near every hotel or event venue have a hard time getting riders now(they always did because by nature they were looking for ripping anyone off and being rude doing it) but they are still there demanding 1000 Rubles to go 2 blocks and willing to sit all night waiting for one sucker. You can tell the new lower cost dispatch taxis because they are usually newer cars, clean and have their dispatcher phone number painted on hoods and sides of the car so you know it is a commercial taxi. If you use one a few time they will give a discount card for any ride using that dispatcher.

The only problem for tourist is that very few of the dispatchers speak English. Just call a few and move on if they don't. I know one of their several dispatchers at "7000000" (their phone number) speaks English. Another one that does is "058", but try any of them. I often use this latter one or "6-000-000" because they seem to have larger cars or stationwagons.

The dispatcher will, after hearing where you are and where you want to go will give a firm price that is usually quite reasonable, and taxi arrival time. Then will call back to you when the car arrives to describe the license plate and car color.

I live in the center so seldom use any transportation late at night anymore, because most destinations of interest for me are within walking distance and I enjoy walking in the city late at night/morning.

How much to go 1km with private taxis hailed off the street? About 50-100 Rubles. .

Helsinki, Finland
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8. Re: "Folks Taxi"

Spasibo especially Svetakoshka and Stanj, exactly what I wanted to know and even more!

So fascinating city of "Pietari", see you in November:-)

9. Re: "Folks Taxi"

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