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Taxis within Buenos Aires are easily identifiable, as their lower half is painted black and their upper half is painted yellow. They can be hailed from any street, a red lighted sign with the word 'libre' (free) behind the windshield informs of their availability.

Every taxi has a fare metering machine which indicates the price of the trip at all times, though sometimes it's possible to arrange the price with the driver beforehand for long trips.

Crime in taxis is very frequent in Buenos Aires, tourists visiting the city are advised to be extremely careful (specially in airports, outside of banks, and the downtown area in general). A safer alternative is to take radio taxis (hired by phone) from a well known company. Though some of these companies add a fixed charge for the phone service, some don't, and some offer a discount. Radio taxis can be hailed from the street as well, and that's a good choice too, provided special care is taken to make sure it really is one of the cars of a well known company. Radio taxis have a yellow sign painted on the side, identifying the company they belong to, and should also have a radio transmission antenna (often much shorter than the standard AM/FM radio antenna, and usually located right in the middle of the car's roof). They should also have a white sticker with the initials 'I.R.A.' on the lower left corner of the windshield. Hailing radio taxis reliably from the street is a black art probably reserved for experienced locals only.

There are a couple of tips to help avoid 'dangerous' taxis:

AVOID:
  • Taxis with no identification signs for both the owner of the car and the driver inside.
  • Taxis with sun filters on the back (used to further block the view of what's going on inside the car from onlookers).
  • Taxis with the front right seat in an upright position (one of the criminals usually takes this seat and points a gun or threatens the passenger from it).
  • Taxis with doors that can't be opened from the inside.
  • Taxis with the door locks disabled.

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