Taxi Moscow + 79-ANGEL-TAXI - Top Taxi in Moscow
Taxi Moscow!: Cabs and Capitalism In Moscow City
A Social Snapshot of the Moscow Taxi Driver
26.12.12 As the prices for taxi in Moscow traditionally grew a week before the New Year, a gypsy cabbie at a metro station asked for 300 rubles for a 2-km drive, but quickly agreed to 200 vs 750 rubles quoted by a taxi company in Moscow. As the drive was coming to the end, I asked the driver why he hadn’t received a free (!) license and joined some taxi dispatching service in Moscow which would keep his hands full with taxi bookings. ‘Why and how much should I pay them for that?’ – ‘Why are you concerned about how much you would pay, not about the fact that you would have earned 700 rubles for the same drive instead of 200? The city is bursting this week with the shortage of taxis. You would benefit clients and yourself’. ‘No, I would only work for someone if they give me a corporate car and US$3000 wage’. ‘Would you treat their car as yours? Just google black lists of taxi cab drivers gone missing with cars or ruining them. So, would you be interested?’ – ‘No’.
No wonder Moscow scores last on “best taxi services” and “friendliest taxi drivers”. Habits die hard. However, there are two groups of cabbies who are among those friendliest: those in their late 40-s and 50-s who had worked in taxi in Moscow in pre-perestroika era, know Moscow well and treat clients even better; and those who have a clear picture how much they can earn (up to US$5000 a month for working hard and well) and are equipped with education, basic foreign languages, gadgets and technology to compete.
The main reasons why some do not look friendly are lack of English knowledge and some irrational (but historical) suspicions towards westerners. Generous tips help.
If you hear some ‘kitschy local music' in a car you hailed, just say ‘No thank you’ and wait for another one, or just call +79-ANGEL-TAXI to listen to Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’. It is one of those we enjoy. Or just tell to the operator ‘No music in the car, please’. Ihr Wunsch ist unser Gesetz.
20.12.12 Fares rose 20% in a traditional pre-New Year windfall. Orders grew 30%. Dec 31 and Jan 1 see a triple. Any taxi firm in Moscow that wouldn’t do that would be buried under the influx of clients.
In 2011 during a midsummer night we dialed a couple of companies who advertised English service for taxi in Moscow on the Internet. Some of them sounded as we awoke them but some replies were even more interesting: ‘When can we get a car, let’s say Ford Focus at the earliest?’ – ‘In 2 days’. ‘Why two days? We are not asking for a Lamborghini’ – ‘You can book a car with us with an English-speaking driver two days in advance’. ‘Ok, how much will it cost to get from Gazenty to Vilisa Latsisa?’ – ‘2000 rubles’ – ‘Why? There are only 20 km there’… Habits to charge foreigners excessively more in Moscow die hard…
While the state gave away grants to other states, tried to curb the influx of migrant labor from CIS which it had triggered itself in fat years oblivious to other countries’ experience, thousands of breadwinners in Moscow have been hunting jobs to support their families and pay off debts, even though the last recession is officially over and the next one hasn’t been declared. By 2008 many of these men and women had bought into the hype about Russia’s economic boom, innovation way of development and decoupling from developed economies, where the credit crunch was emerging. Many of them borrowed. Their debts swelled. The economy flopped.
If you book a taxi in Moscow now, the driver can happen to be a former (or current) manager, economist, lawyer – you name it; a variety of backgrounds come in CVs. For some of them driving a taxi in Moscow is one of the few ways to earn a living. Ruble fares for a taxi in Moscow are at their pre-crisis level. When the ruble was the weakest, euro and dollar equivalents for a ride in a taxi in Moscow plummeted by 30-40%, – in allegedly 'one of the world’s most expensive cities'! A ride in a taxi from the airport in Moscow to some east district with Angel Taxi averages £30, approx. a half of a ride in a taxi from the airport to London’s East End with Angel Cars.
Taxi in Moscow is one of the few markets where competition is so intense – to passengers' benefit . Angel Taxi in Moscow (and elsewhere) provides services at fares which are truly fair. We charge fixed taxi prices in Moscow per km (based on the shortest route), not per time. Though traffic jams in Moscow hurt per–km drivers we don't want our clients, who order a taxi in Moscow, to pay for our common problem, because it's not fair.
There are many opportunities to choose taxi in Moscow. And this choice should be responsible and rational. At your risk you can hail gypsy cabs which chaotically stand at the curb and hinder Moscow’s public transportation. They don't pay taxes, while robberies and rapes in them are a statistics often hidden from expats. Alternatively, you can call and book a taxi in Moscow and meet a professional driver with an extensive experience in Moscow or a former manager who just knows Moscow well, has higher education(s), speaks basic foreign languages and has been hunting for jobs in Moscow for months. In contrast to gypsy cabs they are responsible, client-oriented and most friendly and are selected to help you if you need a taxi in Moscow. You can help them earn a living and if they work particularly well, you might want to tip them, which has not yet become a custom – to thank for good driving a taxi in Moscow.
Pathetic images of foreign tourists in Moscow metro or on Moscow streets trying to compare their English pocket guides or maps with Cyrillic (all of them) signs have been daunting us since 1980-s. Now Angel Taxi provides a fair fare solution for foreign tourists interested in Moscow sightseeing by taxi to have a quick trip at a fixed fare from any car accessible place in Moscow to another one. Traffic jams in Moscow are tough, but out of over 1100 drivers there are 190 English speaking ones, and out of 50 operators there are 10 English speaking ones, so we might be quite helpful, even if you are lost (real case when we helped a foreign tourist). Call +79-ANGEL-TAXI. Our Taxi Angels are committed English-speaking operators ready to help you 24 / 7 / 365. ‘Be an angel and please dispatch us a taxi asap to …’ – and they’ll do their best.