Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Taxis in Abuja

In getting around, you have three choices, from most to least expensive.

1. Hire your own driver, who will stay with you. You can ask around for recommendations. Or many of the hotel “car hires” (see below) are available for longer term use.

2. Use your hotel “car-hire.” A “drop off” – meaning a ride to a place in town is usually 1,000, but can go up to 2,000. It costs more if you want the driver to wait. When you are ready to leave, you can call the driver for another “drop off” ride. These are generally nice cars with air conditioning. But not all of the drivers are well off. Some of them rent the car from someone else on a daily basis, so they can make their living off the difference they earn doing “car hire.”

3. Hail a taxi on the street. They are almost everywhere, easy to catch, and cost 1/3 to ½ the price of car hire. But the vehicles can be in varied states of repair and you’ll enjoy the breeze from the open windows. Foreigners I met said they and their acquaintances hadn’t had any problems, as long as they took the green cabs.

As you move around town, you’ll find you like and trust some drivers more than others. Ask for their numbers if they don’t offer them. Most drivers are happy to respond to calls and will do so quickly. It’s always nice to know that a trusted person is available to come pick you up.

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