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How to avoid getting taken for a ride

Originally published on 28 September 2009 on MSN Money

You're exhausted, in a strange country, don't really speak the language and you just know you're about to get ripped off by a fast-talking taxi driver.

Be calm. Help is at hand.

The more tourists know the going rates, scams, and how to identify off-the books operators, the better off they'll be, maintain Edmonton-based travellers Todd and Steve Romaine.

Their solution? I Hate Taxis, a centralized and regularly updated global ground transportation depot which documents ground transportation options at hundreds of airports around the globe.

The website, launched earlier this month, includes more than 200 airports from over 75 countries so far and can be accessed on the fly via cell phone as well.

Cairo and Rome are the worst countries for catching a cab at the airport, the brothers claim.

In Italy, for instance, you're really likely to get ripped off at both airports (Fiumicino or Ciampino) and the Termini train station, says 'American in Rome' blogger Shelley, who scathingly describes an organized ring of taxi drivers headed up by a gruff woman who targets unsuspecting tourists. Think Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, she warns.

And things are no better in Prague, it seems.

In the latest round of an ongoing battle against taxi rip-offs, Prague City Hall recently removed a group of alleged over-charging drivers from their stands at the tourist-heavy Old Town Square this summer.

Tell us: What's your worst overcharged taxi experience?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

Source: http://www.everydaymoney.ca/2009/09/how-to-avoid-getting-taken-for-a-ride.html

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