Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Costs of Taxis in Israel (Part 4 in our Series of Hiring Taxis in Israel)

What are the actual practical differences between hiring a taxi and paying according to the number shown on the meter (Moneh) or by agreeing upon a pre-arranged amount?


If you negotiate a price for the journey, then if the journey takes 10 minutes or two hours, you'll only be liable for the amount agreed upon, even if the cab driver argues with you and tries to force you into paying more. 


If you use the Moneh, and the traffic lights are working slowly (and the driver is not concentrating as he should – taking turns where he shouldn't – not that you would know anything about this,) you may find yourself paying a lot more. 

Be well aware, many drivers who can spot that you're new, will take chances turning into roads that are not necessary, simply to waste time. As we will continually mention "time is money!" 

You may also notice that the driver will slow down if it looks like the traffic light will turn orange, and when it does, he'll stop, leaving the meter counting onwards as you sit waiting for a green light! But… if you agree upon a price upfront, the driver will find it much easier to get through green lights and for some reason find his way directly to the location without the need for taking surprise turns where not necessary! (He's an outstanding driver after all... what would ever make you suspect that he can't make every green traffic light?!)


Actual costs for the journey work "something" like this. Practically speaking, a trip from Beitar Illit to Yerushalayim can cost anywhere between 70 shekel (realistic!) to 130 shekel (Israeli honesty.) What this means is that the real cost may even be advertised at 70 shekel. However, once the cab is waiting, other issues may creep in, raising the price. Alternatively, if you find yourself waiting at a hospital on Friday afternoon needing to get home urgently before Shabbat, expect taxis to charge 150 shekel for the exact same journey. If you want to take the "Moneh chance" you may save yourself tens of shekels – but be prepared for the warnings brought in the previous paragraphs – and remember in order to qualify as a taxi driver – 5 years of hard driving are necessary before they'll be approved… so they probably know the streets better than most newbies. If so, they probably also have fantastic ideas about what to do with a demanding client who wants the Moneh when they (the taxi drivers) were quite comfortable charging the 150 shekel fee. If you're in Israel long enough – and have the funds to experiment – go for it. You'll be the best person to see how "money talks" and how it changes the relationship you'll have with your driver throughout the trip.

If you choose the Moneh, your journey will begin at a cost of about 10 shekel (currently.) The meter adds in increments only it knows about. Don't try and figure it out – unless you're planning to work in the taxi industry yourself! This mysterious Moneh has a way of adding units (money) to itself every 10 seconds, or every 1 minute. I've personally watched the meter and still not figured out how it works out when to add an additional amount. 30 or 40 Agarot are usually added at each – every-so-often, and amounts can accumulate very very fast! When sitting at a red traffic light and watching the Moneh, you will find out two things in life – "time is money," and "time can be very slow – though some of Man's 'better made machines' work just perfectly!" Those wishing to slow time down (you know, those who always say how fast time flies) should sit inside a taxi cab in Israel and watch how fast the meter may accumulate as time seems to simply stand still!

Stay tuned for our next instalment where we will let you in on some of the extra charges you probably never even thought would exist. It's one thing to manage to hire your taxi. It's quite another to realise that some costs will not be spoken about – until the end of the journey, when one finds oneself being billed for an amount far above the initial metered reading.

Meanwhile, you've at least managed to hire your taxi and get a feeling for what will be better – the Moneh or arranging a fixed cost.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails