Now - this is by no means definitive, but our life here has occasionally demanded that we jump into a cab. The only time I did this in Brighton I was either really hammered or really hung over.
Here in Rio, I try to rely on the good number of public transport options, but there are times when I´ve got a cab. Here´s how I do it:
Depending on how brave I feel about communicating in Portuguese, I may or may not take some visual aids with me. I definitely take a pen and paper, so that if all else fails I can start a convoluted game of pictionary with my poor confused cheauffeur of the moment. Nothing like cruising around totally lost with the meter running!
Yellow Rio cabs have proven to be honest so far. Either flag one down (usually takes between 2 and 4 seconds to stop one) - or go to a rank (they are everywhere).
Tarif 1 starts at R$4.30 and the price climbs modestly till you get there - by my reckoning, cabs are cheaper here than most big cities. Here are some ´rule of thumb´ prices.
- Copacabana - Sugar loaf R$10
- Copacabana - Lapa R$15 - More after midnight
- Copacabana- Leblon R$10ish
- Copacabana - Tom Jobim International airport - R$45ish depending on traffic
Ok - its important to note that since April, the fares went up by 14% but the meters haven´t all been changed. So if your driver produces a ready-reckoner at the end of the journey to let you know the actual fare (and not the old fare on the meter) - don´t set off your rip off alarm just yet.
Ahh, the place where you arrive after half a night asleep with some fat git´s knobbly knees in your back. Now this is when you you should set you rip off alarm with a hair trigger. Before you pass into the airport proper, a row of Taxi kiosks manned by wailing banshees will try and lure you into poverty. Personally I would avoid their advances.
At the airport door its round 2! An elite squad of commision hunters will desperately try to push your trolley for you. Just make for the normal cab rank. And the normal cab fares.
There. Said it.
By the way - this nifty website works out the fare for you - so when you get where you´re going, you can check the extent of the damage.