If your resort or hotel doesn't offer a shuttle to pick you up from the airport, your first experience with taxis in Jamaica will likely be an hour to 90 minute ride aboard a charter taxi to get to your accommodations in Runaway Bay. Once you arrive, utilizing local route taxis services are recommended because of the hazardous road conditions.
Charter versus Route Taxis
Most tourists will be interested to find that there are two different types of taxis in Runaway Bay known as charter taxis and route taxis. Although both are government sanctioned and required to licensed and insured, each as a different purpose.
Charter taxis, which can be identified by the red license plates, are private rides which promise only to transport you and your party from one place to the next at one price for the whole group. Route taxis, which have white license plates, might reminds you of the public bus system because they drive back and forth between two set points, making specific stops along the way and pick up anyone who needs a ride. Prices for these cabs are charger per person.
Not all taxi drivers are on the up-and-up. Sometimes you'll find a driver who is not licensed and is operating his services out of his own personal vehicle. This is illegal and should be avoided, regardless of how cheap the ride is. In order to be sure if you're getting into a legal taxi, check the license plate for the letters “PP” or “PPV.”
...call around and obtain quotes...
Before you even arrive in Jamaica, it is wise to call around and obtain quotes for the cost of an airport transfer. You can reserve your charter a few weeks in advance by offering up your name and flight information, and you'll find a driver waiting when you arrive to pick you up and take you to your accommodations.
If you see a route taxi driving down the road, you can wave your hand to flag them down.
Taxi drivers in Runaway Bay can also be used as tour guides. Almost all of the area's drivers are certified tour guides, and offer either tour packages with preset stops that even include the cost of admission to certain attractions in their fee, or allow you to create a tour to your specifications based upon your interests and the sites you want to see. The one time fee that includes transportation and stops will likely be cheaper than taking a new cab from place to place.
You can ask you driver when you get in the cab how much it will be to get to your destination and he should be able to show you on a rate card exactly how much you'll pay. This is because fares in Jamaica are preset. Charter taxis set their own rates and each charge different amounts, while route taxis have their fare set by the government. Both types of taxis are willing to negotiate the price. Be aware that route taxis can only accept Jamaican Dollars, but charters are usually willing to take U.S. Dollars.
Tipping your driver is a great way to show your appreciation for his service. The going rate for a local ride of $5 to $10(USD), but you might want to consider bumping the tip up to 15 to 20 percent of your total cost or longer trips and tours.
Want to know what taxi rides cost? Look at this array of examples.
|Typical Cost (USD)||Location A||Location B|
|$ 70.00||Falmouth Cruise Terminal||Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica|
Your initial experience with taxis will likely be expensive, but once you get to Runaway Bay you'll find prices to be more reasonable. There is no need to rent a car when experienced local drivers await you at every popular tourist attraction.
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