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Taxi drivers from Termini- frustratring!!

I have frequently defended Roman taxi drivers on this website because I have only had good experiences. But this last trip left me a little frustrated. We arrived to Termini and tried to catch a taxi to our hotel which I knew was only a short distance away. (Why take a taxi then? I pack light but my family does not). But every driver was trying to charge me 25-30 euro, feeding me stupid lines about "flat rates from Termini". I was in the taxi line. I was prepared to pay extra for the big bags but not double/triple the price. I couldn't get anyone to just agree to turn on the meter. Even the fact that I speak Italian and made it very clear I know Rome did not help at all. We ended up walking because I was annoyed. I confirmed with the hotel that it should have been 10 Euro.

For the remainder of the trip, the taxis were fairly priced and the drivers friendly.

Has anyone else had this experience with Termini?

Don't worry- I still love Rome and still had a great trip!

Posted by
30968 posts

Kristen,

I've had both good and bad experiences with Taxi drivers in Rome, but some of them are definitely scammers (IMO). It's great that most of your experiences have been good so far.

Posted by
1976 posts

Good for you, Kristen - you did your homework and knew the answer to your question before you asked it.

Posted by
5817 posts

I had exactly the same problem with a taxi driver trying to charge me 40euro "flat fee" for a journey that shouldn't have been more than 10 euro. I also walked which wasn't much fun. I am not cheap but I refuse to be treated as if I'm stupid!

The second time I went to Rome I also had a taxi at the airport trying to charge me 80euros.
Both , incidents were certainly off putting as an introduction to Rome. Made me vary grateful for the the London black cab, not cheap but they don't treat you like a mug!

Posted by
15577 posts

Thanks for the heads up, I was wondering about that lately. I have some friends arriving at Termini this winter, and they asked me about hotels. I was going to recommend one near Termini because its so convenient for arrival, departure, and getting elsewhere in Rome. But since they are coming off a ski trip, they will be traveling "heavy". It occurred to me they would have trouble getting a cab to take them close by.

In the true confessions department, in a previous life I drove a taxi cab in Alexandria, VA. I used to work the taxi queue at Washington National (now Reagan) Airport. Nothing ticked me off more than spending an hour in the queue, then getting a fare to Crystal City, a $1.60 cab fare away. The big spenders would give you $2 and say "Keep the change, Bub." After a while, I gave up on working the airport totally as it was unprofitable, and left it to other drivers who were not as bashful about cheating the public. So now you know why the cab drivers at Termini are all crooks, it is a process of natural selection. And "crook" is not a derogatory term among taxi drivers. We all referred to each other as crooks.

Posted by
6801 posts

Sam brought up a good point. I know at CDG in Paris, the cab drivers typically wait in the holding area for two hours before it's their turn to come up to the curb. Most will refuse a fare to a nearby area after waiting for two hours.

Posted by
767 posts

Bets and Sam- I agree about small taxi fares not being very desirable. However, in the case of Rome's city center, 10 euro is a pretty standard fare. From one end to the other, you would pay a maximum of 15 euro, maybe 20 at night. So it's not like we were taking a 2 euro ride. But I understand your point.

Posted by
13962 posts

On my first arrival in Rome I went straight out to the left of the train tracks and there was a line of taxis and several driviers approached me quoting various flats rates that sounded exorbitant. I went back into the station and continued walking to the front of the station. There is an official taxi stand. I have several times taken taxis from there and it's always been by the meter and with a direct route. . . and a pleasant driver.

Posted by
767 posts

I was at the taxi stand in the front of the station which was why I found the whole situation so frustrating. I am also aware of the non legit taxi drivers. But all of the taxi drivers in the actual taxi line were being shady. But as I said before, this is not my usual experience. I was just wondering if it is a Termini thing.

Posted by
36 posts

Same happened to me last November. I walked - from the front of Termini not quite to the Forum area along Via Cavour - ended up with blisters to start the trip. Should have paid the extra $10 euros. Worth not getting blistered and sweaty before dinner, which amounted to walking all over the place with new blisters. Miserable first night in Rome, followed by magic after blister band-aids and foot care. Dirty plane socks and long walks in bloated feet do not pair well, which I already knew but was too cheap and proud of my being right on the fare.