Taxi and Dolmuş Travel

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TRAVEL TIPS

Taxi and Dolmuş Travel

Taxis in Turkey are yellow and easy to spot. Fares in Istanbul are about 2 TL for 1 km (about ½ mile) with a starting flat rate of 3.20 TL; the former difference between the day and night rates has been abolished. Prices in other large cities are similar. Be aware that taxi drivers in tourist areas sometimes doctor their meters to charge more; don't ride in a taxi in which the meter doesn't work. Before setting out, ask at your hotel about how much a ride should cost and have a sense of what direction you should be traveling in. Note that saying the word direkt (direct) after giving your destination may help prevent you from getting an unplanned grand tour of town. In cities it’s fairly easy to flag down a taxi, or you can go to a taxi stand where drivers wait for fares. In Istanbul and Ankara many of the larger hotels will find a cab for you, usually with drivers or companies they know and trust. The website Online Taksi lists taxi companies all over Turkey, while Taksiyle lets you estimate fares for point-to-point trips in major cities.

As a tip, it's customary to round up to the next lira. There are no extra charges for luggage. In Istanbul, if you cross one of the Bosphorus bridges, you will be expected to add the 4.25 TL cost of the toll to the bill regardless of which direction you are going (vehicles only pay going from west to east—the theory is that even if he does not have to pay to take you across, the taxi driver will have to pay to go back). Particularly in Istanbul and Ankara, taxi drivers are often recent arrivals to the country, with a very limited knowledge of the city and will have to ask bystanders or other taxi drivers for directions.

Dolmuşes (shared taxis) are generally bright yellow minibuses that run along various routes. You can often hail a dolmuş on the street, at bus stops, or at dolmuş stands marked by the signs "D." The destination is shown either on a roof sign or a card in the front window. The savings over a private taxi are significant. A trip by dolmuş is often just as fast as by taxi, and service extends through the wee hours of the morning. Although dolmuşes only run along specific routes, they generally go to tourist destinations, as well as nightlife hot spots. If you're not familiar with your destination, tell the driver where you are going when you get in; he will usually try to drop you as close to your destination as possible.

It is not customary to tip dolmuş drivers, and they will probably be confused if you try to hand them something extra.

Taxi Information

Online Taksi. www.onlinetaksi.com.

Taksiyle. www.taksiyle.com/en.

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