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Uber vs. Taxi When Traveling

With the popularity of Uber on the rise, the company now has vehicles in nearly every major city around the world. When traveling, it can be hard to know whether to opt for an Uber or to call a taxi to reach your destination. The following guidelines can help you decide when to Uber and when to take a taxi.

Generally, Uber is cheaper than a taxi in most major cities in the United States. This is even true in New York City, where taxis abound and fares for any transportation are high. Additionally, Uber drivers are paid through a smartphone app, which makes for quicker and easier transactions.

Conversely, taxis can be cheaper in foreign cities. Because Uber is typically connected to a traveler’s credit card, a currency conversion fee could increase your rate. With taxis, payment can be made in cash with no fee. Also, if the traveler does not have international service on their cell phone, they could incur an additional fee attempting to communicate with Uber to book, manage and pay for a ride.

In some cities, you might find that the wait to be connected with an Uber driver near you is much longer than simply flagging down a taxi that may drive by. When the vast majority of people in a city use the Uber app to summon drivers, there could be a surplus of empty taxis driving around looking for customers.

In some cases, Uber can be a safer option than a taxi. If a traveler is journeying to a new and unfamiliar place, especially one that is known to be a high crime area, the GPS feature of the Uber app can be reassuring. The smartphone app will track the ride and the traveler can see where the driver is taking them. This can also serve as a form of trip insurance; if the driver intentionally takes the passenger on a circuitous route, they can notify Uber and receive a refund.

If a traveler is heading to a smaller city or college town, taxis can provide more flexibility. In places where most people need a car service at a particular time of day, such as in the evening and overnight when college students tend to be out and about, Uber vehicles may not run at off-peak times.  In this case, a taxi would be the best option.

Taxis and Uber vehicles are both safe and reliable transportation. However, travel insurance can further protect passengers in transit. It is important to research travel insurance coverage and compare rates to ensure that you have appropriate trip protection. Happy and safe travels!

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