How to Keep Track of the Taxi Meter?

Taxi meter, the little electronic box installed next to the driver can keep you on tenterhooks, the moment you hire the vehicle. As if the chatty or dishonest driver is not enough who keeps deviating from the shortest route, the taxi meter simultaneously starts showing its little tricks too. Though every passenger knows that a taxi meter is an impartial indicator of time and distance which attributes to the taxi fare calculation, still many choose to ignore it. And many don’t understand precisely how a meter works.

Understanding the cab meter is not that difficult, provided you are aware of some basic facts. Here we take a look at few such important information which would come in handy during your next taxi ride.

Taxi Fare Calculator - Basic Criteria

The cab meter basically measures distance the passenger travels and time. Plus it also takes into account the waiting time. These measurements are then converted into fares. Depending on the city or State, the taxi fare basic structure varies. Some additional charges are levied for more number of passengers or if the driver assists in handling the baggage. The rate gets hiked if you are crossing States.

Common Fare Structure

The most common fare structure that is usually applied is the simple pickup charge. If you take a look at the initial taxi fares in different parts of the United States you will find it mostly varies between $2.5 to maximum $4. For instance if you board a taxi in San Mateo, CA the basic charge is $3.10 and then for each mile traveled $3 will get added to the initial fare. San Francisco passengers are charged an initial $3.50 while the rate is $3.00 for Richmond commuters.

Additional Charges

In general additional surcharges are levied for peak-hour or night time travel. Besides these the customer has to pay toll taxes for inter-state traveling. On each cab ride, a certain sales-tax is also applied.

Taxi Meter Related Scams

An accurate taxi meter should calculate the fare correctly. However there are instances when a tampered meter shows an exorbitant figure. Sometimes the driver remains responsible too in hiking the fare unnecessarily. Sensing the passenger’s naivety he adopts not-so-direct routes which result in inflated taxi fare. Even shocking to note that some drivers just steer the cab in circles to increase the fare! All these scams happen either because the passenger is unfamiliar about the city roads or he is unaware of the taxi fare structure of that particular location.


Some simple measures can be adopted to keep a check on the taxi meter. If you are visiting a new location then do enquire about that place’s taxi rates like the initial charge and additional cost per mile. Keep a route map ready to be sure that the driver is indeed following the shortest route.

There are many cab companies which deal with their customers fairly as they believe in building reputation based on trust. Pick up such a taxi service provider to pay the right fare.