There are already dozens of taxi guides for Bucharest and I don’t see the point to repeating stuff that has already been mentioned all over the internet. Instead I want to share with you a little story, one that shocked and surprised me, despite living over 20 years in Romania. Ariel, a friend of mine, usually rides his bike everywhere he needs to go. When the weather is bad or when he has to carry heavy things, he takes a cab. Therefore his onlinr blog is now filled with stories about bikers and taxi drivers.
A taxi fare in Bucharest normally costs between 0,30-0,50 Euro/kilometer. Due to the financial crisis living expenses are exploding, meanwhile we all wonder why taxi fares are still cheap and how the hell a cab driver manages to earn a living. And Ariel’s answer to this question is: he doesn’t, unless he cheats. (Some) Romanian cabs come with some kind of a hidden button. Every time the driver pushes it, the button adds 0,30-0,50 Euro to the taximeter. I’ve been in dozens of taxis and never noticed this. Ariel wrote how he was once sitting in a cab, while the driver was silently taking detours and pushing the ‘magic’ button every few minutes. My friend told him to stop it and the cab driver answered: “Ok, I turned the taximeter off… the price won’t go any higher than this.“
Being a local can certainly be of help in such situation. As a foreigner, you should check cab prices before arriving in a new city, stay away from unknown taxi companies… and always keep an eye out for magic tricks.