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Taxis vs Gypsy Taxis

 

Taxis and "Gypsy taxis"
You can order a taxi at the following numbers:

080
10-55 Vokat (Вокат)
10-13 10-33 Ogonek (Огонек)
10-10 Radio (радио)
070 Aozt (Аозт)

The most inexpensive and convenient way to travel around Odessa is in taxis. Taxis are cheap for Russian or Ukrainian speaking passengers. Of course, if you don't speak the language the price goes up immediately.

There actually is no reason to call a taxi. In Odessa almost every car you see on the road is your own personal taxi. Called "gypsy taxis", every taxi ride costs a fraction of a dollar.

If you can get over the embarrassment of fumbling over Russian to tell the taxi driver where to go, you can travel around the city in comfort. Go to a busy street, put your hand out, palm facing down, and within seconds a car will stop (usually a Lada, but Mercedes and other high end cars sometimes stop also).

Negotiate your price before you get in the car. If you cannot agree on a price with the driver, close the door and wait a few seconds for the next gypsy taxi. Often the driver will reconsider and agree on your price.

Prices for Gypsy taxis and normal taxis
Prices for gypsy taxis in the center between Staroportofrankovskaya (Старопортофранковская), the train station, and the port, for locals is never more than 4 hryvna, and it is usually 2 or 3. A foreigner shouldn't pay more than five hryvna. Remember, it is a "buyers market".

In gypsy taxis prices from the center to the Arcadia area for locals is six Hryvna. Never pay more than ten.

Throughout all of Odessa never pay more than 15 hryvna for a gypsy taxi.

Tips for taxis:

  • Never take a taxi at the train station or bus station, they are very expensive. Walk a few feet to the street and hail a taxi there.
  • Don't get into a car having more than one passenger. Refuse to continue to stay in the car if the driver attempts to pick up someone else. A volunteer here in Odessa was robbed and severely beaten after a man picked up someone else who actually was his accomplice.
  • Agree on a price beforehand. There are no meters in the taxis themselves.
  • It is advisable to always carry lower denomination notes for taxis. If the driver does not have change, it is okay to go to a store or kiosk and get change while the driver waits outside.
  • Pay the taxi driver ONLY after you have arrived.
  • Most seat belts in cars don't work or have been removed. Taxi drivers will tell you do not a seat belt here. Insist if this is important too.
Woman hailing taxi with roses in one hand and her cat in the other
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