How to Identify Taxis in Bolivia

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It's important to know the types of taxis in Bolivia that you can use, as some of them have fixed routes and others don't. Unlike other countries, Bolivian taxis don't have one uniform color (yellow for example) so you'll need to know how to identify which vehicles are taxis and which are not. Taxi safety is an oft-discussed issue in Bolivia where mugging taxi drivers and/or passengers for their money sometimes occurs. Learn the best ways to get around Bolivia in taxis, plus some great taxi apps.

Types of Taxis in Bolivia

There are 3 Types of Taxis in Bolivia

There are three kinds: privately owned cabs called "taxis particulares", company or fleet-operated taxis that are called "radiomóviles" or "radiotaxis", and taxis with fixed routes, which are called "trufis".

TAXIS PARTICULARES: Privately-owned cabs are basically vehicles of any type, driven by their owners, that may or may not be clearly marked and may or may not have been registered by the owner as a taxi with the public authorities (something all radiomóviles are obliged to to). Usually they place a small placard on their front windshield and drive around town picking up passengers wherever they can. Because they are not company cars, nor equipped with radios, if they experience mechanical problems, are victimized in some way, or are involved in an accident, there is usually no way to call for help unless the driver has a cellphone. In addition, if you forget any personal belongings in the vehicle, you will have no way to contact the driver or recover them.

RADIOMóVILES: are also privately owned cars driven by their owners, but they work under a taxi company. These are usually clearly marked as taxis. They may have a placard in the front windshield, a small green light above the front seat passenger’s visor, or side door magnets or stickers with a taxi company name and phone number. These vehicle owners contract with a company and pay the company daily for the use of radio equipment. The benefit to them is that they get calls and do not have to drive around arbitrarily hoping they pick up a passenger. The benefit to you is safety. In addition, by using a radio taxi, you can call a cab to pick you up anywhere at any time and drop you off at any destination without having to stand on a street corner trying to flag one down. Radiomóviles are required to register the vehicle with police to let them know it's being used as a taxi.

TRUFIS: are another option. They are taxis as well, but they have fixed routes in each city. Trufis are easily identifiable by two small flags flying on the front hood of the car, one to the left and one to the right. Of course, because of their fixed routes they do not provide door to door service. Rather, they pick up and drop off passengers continuously along their routes. The disadvantage of a trufi is that you will not be the only passenger and it will take longer to get to your destination due to multiple stops to load and unload other passengers, just as a bus would do. Still, they are inexpensive and you never stray from their routes so you'll never feel lost. There is something to say about safety in numbers too.

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