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Taxi Safety in Rio

Portland, OR
8 posts
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Taxi Safety in Rio

We have heard some bad reports about Taxis robbing their passengers in Rio. We would like some advice on which cab companies are the safest for Tourists.

I have heard of a company called Coopercab (or something similar) where you pay the taxi in advance. Has anyone else heard or used this company?

And what taxi companies, in your opinion, that are the safest and best to use?

We will probably be using taxis to go from the airport to our hotel, and from Copacabana to Ipanema and elsewhere. Any suggestions?

Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
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1,075 posts
14 reviews
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1. Re: Taxi Safety in Rio


Yes there are horror stories about taxis taking unsuspecting tourist up into shanty areas and robbing them and leaving them to walk their way to help but these are few and far between and easily avoided if you deal only with radio dispatched taxi services.

When you arrive at the Tom Jobim International Airport (GIG) in Rio and have gotten past Immigration then customs, you will find yourself standing before some very eager women in booths who are trying their best to get you to use their Taxi service.

One of the services is called R��DIO-T��XI COOPERTRAMO and the other is TransCoo...something...sorry I forget but both will be located right there in the airport. These are radio dispatched taxi services and they are very safe. You can, if you wish, pay for round-trip taxi ride to your hotel and then back to the airport. This is probably the best deal. Usually runs around 100 to 120 Reals (basically divide by 3 to get the equivalent in US dollars) for the round-trip. They take you to your hotel and about an hour before you are ready to leave the hotel you have the hotel call them and they will return you to the airport.

Now, when going about the town, you can have the hotel call the radio taxi service for you or, depending on your hotel, you can have the hotel arrange for a driver and a car for you which usually works out to be just slightly more than the radio taxi but you have the extra comfort of knowing you will be in good hands and are as safe as can be expected in Rio.

Keep in mind most taxi drivers do not speak anything other than Portuguese so brush up on your language skills. The hotel drivers are usually somewhat multi-lingual as they also do a little tour guiding on the side.

Taxi drivers don't commonly expect a tip, people will however round-up whatever is on the meter and let the driver keep the change. Radio taxis generally operate on a flat-rate and in those cases its nice to give the driver 2 to 5 Reals as a tip..though he probably won't expect one..its a nice thing to do considering how little most hard-working Brazilians earn.

So, in conclusion, for taxi service stick with the red, white and blue radio-dispatched taxis or ask your hotel to set you up with one of their drivers.

I hope that this helps!

Happy travels to you and yours!

George Browne

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