Please sign in to post.

How to identify an official taxi at Bercy station?

With slightly tight timing and luggage I'm thinking of getting a taxi from Bercy rail station to Gare du Nord to catch the Eurostar back to the UK. Any advice on how to find an official taxi and how long the journey may take? It will be about 9.30 on Saturday.

Posted by
2393 posts

There will be a taxi stand there

So, how do you know if a taxi is licensed and official? An official Paris taxi must have all of the following things:
A sign on top that says “Taxi Parisien,” that can be lit up GREEN = available & RED & busy, and that has three small lights underneath to denote fares
A working meter on prominent display, showing the cost of the trip as you go
A plate on the outside of the vehicle (front right wing) showing taxi license number
A display on rear of vehicle used to monitor daily use of the taxi

EDIT: added GREEN & RED light to clarify for future references

Posted by
2466 posts

Christi - sorry, you're out of date with the taxi information.
Three years ago, official Parisian taxis were required to change the lights on top. There are no more annoying little lights.
Now if a taxi is available, the whole light is green.

Not available, the whole light is red.
You can also hail a taxi on the street, as long as the light on top is green and you're not near an official taxi stand.

There will be overhead signs showing where to find the official taxi stand at Bercy. Follow them and stand in line.
Do not go with anyone who approaches you on foot - real taxi drivers always remain in their vehicles.
The trip from Bercy to Gare du Nord at that time of day should take about 35 - 40 minutes and should cost about 25 to 30 EU.

Posted by
8240 posts

FWIW about 10 years ago when we took the night train from Rome to Paris and arrived at Bercy at about 8 am or so in the morning we had a hard time getting a taxi. Usually there are tons at train stations, but as we stood there with a train load of people in line, there was one arriving every minute or so; it took awhile to get a cab. Some people in the line headed off to an RER or Metro station.

Posted by
9895 posts

Christi is right about the three little lights UNDERNEATH the big light (which is now green or red).

The three little lights (as depicted in the photo on his header)

http://www.paris.fr/taxis

indeed do indicate information with reference to fares.

This link from Taxis G7 shows what the various A,B,C represent:

https://www.g7.fr/tarifs-taxis-paris

Basically, within Paris, you pay the A rate (plus any associated charges) if you take a taxi between 10 am and 5 pm Mondays through Saturdays.

You pay the B rate (plus any associated charges) if you take a taxi:
Mondays through Saturdays between midnight and 7 am
Mondays through Saturdays between 5 pm and midnight.
Sundays from 7 am through midnight
Official holidays - all day.

You pay the C rate (plus any associated charges) if you take a taxi
Sundays between midnight and 7 am.

That is, the most expensive time to take a taxi is late Saturday "night" i.e. early Sunday morning. The cheapest is during the week (and Saturdays) between 10 am and 5 pm. And to help you remember those dates, the taxi itself has the A,B, or C illuminated on its hood below the big TAXI sign. Again, as illustrated on the official Paris taxis info page.

So Christi is hardly out of date with regard to her information, she's very up-to-date in fact.

(By the way, A rate is 1.06 euros per kilometer or 32.10 euros an hour;
B rate is 1.30 euros per KM or 38.10 euros an hour
C rate is 1.58 euros per KM or 35.80 euros an hour)

Pick up fee is 2.60, any person beyond the fourth is 4 euros a person, and the minimum fare is 7 euros.

Posted by
430 posts

Many thanks to everyone for their prompt, helpful and detailed replies. Looks as though I'll be paying tariff B. Just hoping now for a short queue.

Posted by
2466 posts

Oh apologies all around to those who notice the three little lights! I don't know anyone who has ever paid attention to them. The main change is the color of the main light. I don't think it helps to confuse the OP with a long list of prices that won't matter in the long run. All this person asked for was an estimated fare for the journey and how long it would take.

janettravels - 10 years was a long time ago. There has been a significant increase in the number of Parisian taxis since then. I take taxis in Paris several times a week. The OP won't have any trouble finding a taxi at that hour.

Posted by
4066 posts
Posted by
12193 posts

As a general rule, go to the taxi stand. The legitimate taxi drivers and airport/station officials will ensure no one but a legitimate taxi picks people up there.

Anyone who approaches you will not be a legitimate taxi driver.

Posted by
8240 posts

Chex -- we never have any trouble getting taxis in Paris either especially at train stations and airports 20 years ago, 10 years ago or now, but Bercy was an exception. Unlike other transport hubs we have used there was just not a long line of taxis waiting when the international train came in. Have you gotten taxis lately at Bercy in the morning to know that that was an anomaly?

Posted by
2466 posts

Yes janettravels, I'm at Bercy in the morning quite often. The time of day the OP mentioned is not "early", even on Saturday.
In any event, the OP clearly states that he has no choice in the matter, and wishes to take a taxi for time constraints.
Now he has the information he needs to do that.

Posted by
9895 posts

I just wanted to refute a statement that said that Christi didn't know what she was talking about, stating that she was completely wrong and out of date. Since that wasn't the case, it didn't seem fair to let that statement stand unchecked.

Whether anyone notices the little lights on bottom is another question, but to have refuted her and told her they didn't exist any longer was wrong and unnecessary.

Posted by
9895 posts

I've now been told via private message:

Kim - there's really no need to pile on. I apologized for my mistake. There's really nothing left to say, and really no need to defend Christi, who I imagine can take a little criticism.

Yes, I imagine Christi can take a little criticism. HOwever, that's not what came up in this thread.

When Christi has written:

So, how do you know if a taxi is licensed and official? An official Paris taxi must have all of the following things:
A sign on top that says “Taxi Parisien,” that can be lit up GREEN = available & RED & busy, and that has three small lights underneath to denote fares

And someone responds thus:

Christi - sorry, you're out of date with the taxi information. Three
years ago, official Parisian taxis were required to change the lights
on top. There are no more annoying little lights. Now if a taxi is
available, the whole light is green.

It seems to me simply prudent to point out to other readers that while the response carries an authoritative tone denigrating Christi's information, the response itself was absolutely incorrect. Given that people coming here for information would just take the second comment for true if nobody refuted it, I simply considered it necessary to point out that Christi's information is, in fact, correct.

These days that's called piling on, I suppose. One is supposed to let unfactual responses stand, and if one responds with the correct information, one is piling on.

Posted by
2393 posts

It is my understanding that when you schedule a taxi the meter starts when they leave to meet you so there will be a charge on the meter before you get in the taxi.

Posted by
430 posts

OP responding here. Thanks to Southam for the station map and to Chex for reassurance about taxi availability.

Posted by
48 posts

It's worth noting that taxi scams do exist in France. About 3 weeks ago, some friend of mine needed a taxi to Montparnasse after arriving at CDG on an overnight flight from the US. They were approached by a man that offered them a taxi ride to the station. After they accepted, the man left and returned with his car (one without markings). Despite more than one request for a price he always found a way to avoid a specific answer. When they arrived at Montparnasse, the fare was 100 euros. My friends knew they had been taken, but once they got into the car and he had their luggage, they felt they had no alternative but continue.
Ed

Posted by
430 posts

Just a quick postscript to my original query. Very easy to find the taxi- stand outside Bercy station. I didn't time the journey but it cost just under €20 (B tariff), and the driver took me directly to the Eurostar side to the Gare du Nord. So glad I took that option. And the driver had a great sense of humour, laughing at the motor-cyclists who take their chances weaving in and out of the traffic, whereas I'm sure many would have sworn at them.

Posted by
2466 posts

Nice of you to come back and let everyone know, cgichard. And glad you made your connection, too.

Posted by
8240 posts

I have never had a scammer in Paris taxis but then I always use the queue but I have had scam attempts by taxis from official queues elsewhere. Thus I always pay after my luggage is out of the trunk and on the ground. Since I usually am with my husband, we are standing by the trunk while I fish around in my purse for the money and he unloads the bags. At that point, if I am being scammed I can give the cabbie the correct amount and challenge him to call the police. Worked fine in Hong Kong for example where there is a fixed price from the airport but cabbies try to pull a fast one. Ours wanted twice the legitimate fee; he got the amount stipulated by law.