SDQ Taxi Drivers and the Tourists they try to rip off

DAKRA

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Feb 21, 2007
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There are many stories and experiences regarding SDQ Taxi Drivers and the Tourists that they try to rip off with inflated prices.

It has been posted before that if you go up to the departure level and stand there with your bags, a cabbie that has just dropped someone off will try to grab you for the ride back and made a few bucks versus just going back to SD or waiting in the cab line at the arrival level. You may be able to negotiate for 15-20 dollars.

For the Record...

I have tried this during a recnent trip to SD. In my particular case, I was just dropped off at the SDQ airport at 6:30 in the morning to catch a flight out of the country. I soon realized that I forgot something at the hotel and need to go back. So while I was already at the airport, I just changed my flight and stayed for 4 more days. Since this took less than 1 hour to complete, I needed a taxi to return back to the hotel. - - I went outside to the taxi area on the lower level (arrivals) and because of the time of day there where no taxis in site. I went back upstairs and found very few taxis (again, because of the time of day), but those taxis who were going back to SD area (near the Jaragua) wanted $40 when asked for a ride. I tried 3 different taxis and they all said $40. Now I am not a local, but I do have the physical characteristics of a Dominican Male but I don't speak Spanish.

I was so upset that the best rate that these guys were going to accept was $40 - So I finally whipped out my cell phone and began to call a buddy of mine to come pick me up. Just prior to dialing the number, an airport employee assisted me in getting a taxi. When the taxi driver looked at me and saw that I was not a local, he again wanted $40 - but the airport employee tried to negotiate with him. My guess is that the taxi driver was probably telling the employee that this Tourist can afford it so let me bleede him.... Finally the airport employee told me to wait and within 5 minutes, that airport employee arrived in the front of the building in a SUV type vehicel and was himself giving me a ride to my hotel. He told me to give him $20 for the ride. He was very nice and polite. Of course he drove like a maniac and it was definately the fastest ride that I have ever had from the airport. I bet he was doing 80 mph or more. Upon arrival at the hotel, where he helped me unload my bags, I gave him a $20 dollar bill plus a $10 dollar bill for his kind and superior service.

It is just soo bad when those damn taxi drivers try to rip off tourists -:surprised
 

Robert

Stay Frosty!
Jan 2, 1999
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It's called a mafia, happens all over the world.

Looks like even the airport employee was making a few $$$ off you as well ;)
Unless of course he was doing it out of the kindness of his heart, driving you all the way to the city, and back to the airport for US$20???

If you ring up most of the cab companies and ask for the price to the airport, most are around RD$8-900. (US$25+)
 

amparocorp

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Aug 11, 2002
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my airplane tix, NY to SDQ roundtrip, used to cost 300-400 US, now they are 500-700 US, i don't hear anyone crying about that. also, if more than one taxi driver is asking for 40, then it may be the new unofficial rate.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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Santiago
Last year I paid RD600. I would expect the dominican rate to still be around this price. Of course if you don't speak Spanish it will be hard to get.

Also, the taxi drivers may try to give you the dog and pony show about the cost of gasoline, but most of them are using propane, which is only RD70 a gallon as opposed to RD200.
 
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J D Sauser

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Nov 20, 2004
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Taking waiting cabs from and too either upper class hotels and airports usually comes at a premium at most locations I've been to on this planet. Some cab companies have a paid monopoly on picking up clients at some airports and hotels, other locations take money from them for the right to pick up clients (airports mostly).
In some countries this can be a protection for the tourist as these hotels or airports will (try to) control these cabs and make sure they will not take tourist on rides to uncertainty (a risk in Brazil, African countries, Russia, etc.). Yet, I am not seriously arguing that this is the case here and would be the reason for trying to get USD 40.oo for a SDQ-town ride.

When in Santo Domingo I do what most locals do and call Apollo Taxi: 809-537-000.
You need to speak Spanish as their operators will most likely not be able to handle foreign language calls. You need to have a quite clear idea of WHERE you are or want to be picked up (major intersection, land mark, NEXT to a major hotel etc.) before you place the call (they are extremely busy and the discussion is thus fast paced.
They're base rate is around RD$ 110.oo which gets you almost across town. You can ask for the rate when you place your call ("dame la tarifa!"). At the end they will give you ETA and the color of the cab. Their cabs have a plastic board stuck between windshield and dash bearing the word APOLLO.
I have not called them out to Las Americas (SDQ) yet... but I am sure they'll do it because I sent one out to pick somebody up at PUJ (Punta Cana, to drop someone arriving there off in La Vega. I don't remember the rate but it was OK... way OK.


... J-D.
 
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Robert

Stay Frosty!
Jan 2, 1999
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If you ring up most cab companies here in SD, they will give you a price, this price is for everyone, Dominicans, Chinos, Gringos etc :)

If you call and want a decent condition taxi, make sure you ask for a "taxi confortable", this will get you a newer cab that has AC.

If at the end of your journey the cab driver asks for more, call the company up or tell the driver to radio the base and ask the price. You'll find the driver will back down.
 
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M.A.R.

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Feb 18, 2006
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I took a cab from Santo Domingo Hotel to Metro in Santo Domingo, 'el ladron' i mean the driver asked for 400 pesos!!!!!!!!!!! a five minute ride that normally charges 150pesos, actually i made the mistake of taking the hotel cab, when i had a couple of taxi numbers i could have called, i never thought they were going to charge that much. :surprised
 

Celt202

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May 22, 2004
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I was helping a friend get around to government offices in Santo Domingo. We walked up to a taxi company office on the side street next to the Napolitano Hotel and asked the fare to the Junta Central on Luperon and one of the 3 drivers sitting there said 500 pesos. I smiled, dropped an F bomb in English and we walked fifty feet to the Malec?n. I pulled out my cell phone to call Apolo but my friend flagged down a passing cab. I said to the driver 150 pesos to the Junta Central on Luperon. The driver gave us a big smile and agreed. I told him that's the Junta Central on Luperon not in la Feria and his face fell but he agreed to take us. ALWAYS agree on the fare up front.
 

Da_Silva1985

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Feb 15, 2009
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my airplane tix, NY to SDQ roundtrip, used to cost 300-400 US, now they are 500-700 US, i don't hear anyone crying about that. also, if more than one taxi driver is asking for 40, then it may be the new unofficial rate.

Believe me, we are crying!
 

scarlettbruns

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Mar 17, 2008
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my fiancee is dominican, we went to a local restaurant from our hotel and on the way there it cost 500 DOP, my fiancee got called into work and I took a cab home by myself and and for the same ride they wanted to charge 1700 DOP I gave him 500 DOP and got out of the cab he wasn't pleased but honestly it was about a 5 minute ride. on the way there it cost $15 and on the way back $50, I dont think so. Tell them where you want to go and agree on the price before you get into the cab! and if you are friends with local get them to negotiate the price for you otherwise you will def. be ripped off.
 

DRNED

New member
Oct 28, 2009
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$40us?

Is there not public transport into the city from the airport, I was, under the impression you had a metro link n alsorts?

Not great arriving for the first time and getting stung before you even get a breath of warm air!!
 

Chirimoya

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2002
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You can only get taxis from the airport. There are guaguas that run to the capital that you can catch from the main road but that is a long hike from the airport and not doable or advisable for first-time visitors, especially with luggage.

The Metro is in its early stages - at the moment only one line is running and it does not serve the airport, and I'm not sure if the long-term plans include the airport. The Metro links the dormitory town of Villa Mella to the north of the city with the Centro de los Heroes, the area where many government offices are located, at the end of Ave. Winston Churchill/Jimenez Moya.
 

DRNED

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Oct 28, 2009
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It sounds like they can pretty much charge what they like if this is the case. $40 sounds far, I am going to Ave Abraham Lincoln, is this far from the airport?

Thanks!
 

jalencastro

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Dec 15, 2004
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I do agree drivers tend to charge whatever they want to foreigners who are easy targets, I am no exception even though I am Ecuadorian I clearly do not look Dominican and am easy prey. Speaking spanish helps somewhat, but what works best is sticking to your guns and negotiating skills and like many users have said on this thread: STICK TO A PRICE and agree to it and go from there.
That being said, the lowest fare I have paid to get a ride to the airport from the MegaCentro mall in Eastern Santo Domingo was $500RD, and another $200RD more to go to Boca Chica [I convinced the driver to wait for me at the airport and then take me to the Hamaca Resort for a few more pesos]. So a total of $700RD for Capital to Airport to Boca Chica is good enough for me! :)
Good luck to everyone and keep hustling the cab drivers!
 

DRNED

New member
Oct 28, 2009
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Oh, here we go with the currency thing again, this is quite funny now. The new landlord wants to be paid in US$, the pricing is all in US$, everything I am being quoted is in US$, but it is cheaper in Pesos, lol.
I was confused by all this before, but now I give up trying to understand what people want and in what currency. We have just got a load of US$ today so that's what everyone is getting. I'm just going to have to take a few hits on the initial introduction to how this all works, hopefully it will become clearer once amongst it all.

Thanks
 

Chirimoya

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2002
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Taxi drivers will accept pesos or dollars, and probably euros for that matter. The price from the airport is quoted in US$ because most visitors do not buy pesos at the airport and will pay the fare in dollars.

jalencastro, I can see how the fare to the Zona Oriental would be less than to central SD.
 

Rbh44

Active member
Mar 28, 2007
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Taxi

My last trip I arrived at SDQ and the taxis out front wanted $35 to the Colonial Zone. I pulled out US$25 and said basically, "this is it, who wants it". I got a ride for that price immediately. I was in Cofresi and took a cab to the bus station in POP, a cab ride I had taken before for RD$300. When we arrived the driver said "Thirty dollars". I asked him again how much and he said the same thing. My Spanish is extremely basic but I was able to tell him he was crazy and there was no chance I would give him thirty dollars. I put US$7 in his hand and told him "no mas, nunca". His reply, With a big smile on his face? "Ah, Usted no es un turista". I just walked away shaking my head. Always set a price first and remember EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE. A side note. I was at beach in Boca Chica and one of the venders tried to screw me. I was with a Dominican and was letting them deal with the vender because of the language thing. I didn't even have the amount of money he wanted with me. He wanted me to leave my passport and return. Finally I got ****ed. I put the amount of money I actually owed him down and told him no more. If he didn't like it I told him he could call the Police and have me arrested and I'll call the US Embassy. He decided he did not want the police involved and we left.
 

bienamor

Kansas redneck an proud of it
Apr 23, 2004
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Any of the Hotel taxi stands will cost triple what Apolo, Rondon, or any of the other commercial companies. They will tell you that is because they are going back empty. For instance taxi stand at the Nepolitano will cost you 400rd to plaza central, Apolo or the others no more than 150rd. Negotiate at the airports, there are posted prices, but they can be knocked down. Always get the price up front.
The good thing over taxi's in the US is if your stuck in traffic your not paying for the wait time.