How to Take a Taxi in New Orleans

Downtown New Orleans, Louisiana
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New Orleans is a wonderful walking city that offers convenient, cheap, and super fun streetcars as an option for getting from neighborhood to neighborhood. All this means that it is easy to go without a car in the Crescent City, if you're not on a road trip. However, many visitors will find themselves needing a taxi now and then, most commonly when they need to get to and from the airport.

A quick run from the French Quarter to the famous Mid-City Lanes Rock 'n' Bowl, for example, is best accomplished by cab for expediency's sake, though it can be completed in other manners.

However, in New Orleans taxicabs are not controlled by a central dispatch, and they can be hard to flag down unless you are on one of the busy hotel-heavy stretches in the French Quarter and Central Business District. So how on earth do you find a taxi in New Orleans? Well, you just pick up the phone and call for one when you need it or you can make a reservation online or with an app.

New Orleans Cab Companies

The largest and oldest taxicab company in New Orleans is United Cabs; which has a fleet of cabs that look bizarrely like police cruisers. United Cabs is the standard go-to for hotel concierges, restaurant hosts, and the like. This is the best company to call if you're in the Central Business District, downtown, or in the French Quarter. Make a call to dispatch and you'll usually have a cab in front of you within a few minutes. 

There are quite a few other cab companies, but they most often only serve certain neighborhoods.  The official New Orleans website has a handy list of cab companies and the neighborhoods they serve. You will have the most options in Mid-City with serive companies providing service while the Garden District/Uptown have three companies. The Central Business District/Downtown, Treme, and Gentilly areas each have one taxi company providing service. To figure out the cost of your ride, use a handy fare estimator for New Orleans.

Taking a Taxis From the Airport

To get a ride from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport or the bus/train station, instead of calling a specific taxi company, you'll just stand in the taxi queue on the lower level near the baggage claim. When it's your turn, just hop in the first cab and the driver will take you on your way. A taxi from the airport to the French Quarter or Central Business District costs around $36 for one or two people and $15 per person for three or more people. Tipping 10 to 15 percent is standard on all rides. If you have heavy luggage or the service is exemplary, it's recommend to tip 20 percent.

Using Ride-Hailing Apps

Popular ride-hailing aps like Lyft and Uber are also available in New Orleans. Rides are often comparably priced to cabs, and many users say they find the services to be somewhat more reliable and easier to use than taxis, given the convenience of the apps. If you use Uber or Lyft on your phone in your home city, it will work exactly the same in New Orleans. If you don't, consider downloading one of the apps in advance of your trip; it's not a bad option to have on hand. Some riders like to have both apps on their phone and will compare prices, often selecting the cheaper option. Note that Uber surge pricing is always in effect from the airport, so cabs tend to be a cheaper option there.

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