Chicago Taxi Cabs
Taking a taxi in Chicago is simple, and the best way to get home from a late-night out or to avoid outrageous parking fees downtown. They are usually very easy to hail on the street, but in the winter, during large events and on New Years they can be a little harder to come by. Just think ahead and you should be fine. Chicago cabs don’t have a uniform make or color, so just look for the light on the top of the cab. The cab should also have proof of registration and a photo ID posted for the passenger to see.
Rates as of this writing: $2.25 first 1/9 of a mile, $0.20 each additional 1/9 of a mile, $0.20 for each 36 seconds of waiting time. $1.00 first additional passenger, $0.50 each additional passenger. There is also a 0.50 fuel surcharge added to keep up with rising fuel prices. Tipping is expected, a dollar or two is fine for most fares, though a little bit more is customary for going long distances or helping with luggage.
Chicago cab drivers are pretty good about knowing where they are going, but knowing cross-streets and/or landmarks can be helpful. It also shows that you know where you are going; not many cab drivers will try to rip you off, but there are always a couple bad ones in the bunch. Cab drivers will also take whatever route you like if you prefer a certain one. So if you genuinely think taking side streets will be faster than the expressway, let the cabbie know, or if you know there is a Bears game and you should avoid certain routes, let him know! It’s not worth getting stuck in traffic.
Taxis in Chicago also generally don’t mind when you pile in the people, whereas they are often very strict with this in other cities. They will count you though and make sure to charge you for each person. It’s always a nice gesture to tip your driver a bit extra for bending the rules.
Drivers required to take credit cards, though they sure don’t like it. They get charged and don’t receive their tips as easily when passengers use credit cards, so some like to pretend their machine is broken or they don’t take them. Argue with them calmly if they put up a fight, and when in doubt call the cab company to complain.
These are average fares from State and Madison Streets to various destinations. Fares will vary, depending on traffic conditions:
State & Madison to O’Hare: $30 – $35.
State & Madison to Midway: $22 – $28.
State & Madison to the United Center: $8 – $10.
You have rights as a passenger, and they should be clearly posted in the back seat of your taxi.
Passenger Bill of Rights:
Your cab driver is licensed and must be courteous to you at all times.
Your cab must be clean, comfortable and safe.
The shortest or the requested route should be taken to your destination.
A receipt should be provided upon request.
Your cab driver must follow all the traffic rules and regulations.
Heat or air conditioning should be turned on/off at your request.
Smoking in NOT allowed in the vehicle.
For your safety, you must use the curb side door to exit the vehicle.
For your safety use your seat belt.
Remember to check your belonging before exiting the cab.
Promptly pay your fare after reaching your destination.
Treat your cab driver with respect and courtesy.
Cell phone usage by the driver is prohibited, except in emergencies.
Yellow Cab: 312.386.1524
Checker Cab: 312.243.2537
Flash Cab: 773.561.1444