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SANTO DOMINGO — TAXI

 

Due to the vastness of the capital, it is advisable for visitors to hire taxis whenever possible (this applies to those who are not renting their own vehicle).  The best approach would be to hire a driver affiliated with a business class hotel, such as the Jaragua or the Meliá (since they are usually drivers conducting that business for a number of years, and personal safety is not an issue with them).  Before using a taxi, one must advise the driver where he/she is going and negotiate the rate before getting into the taxi, in order to avoid being overcharged.

Along with such taxis for tourists, there is a cheaper taxi service used by locals to get from one district to another, called “conch cars” (which follow a designated letter-assigned route, such as “Route A”, “Route M”, etc.).  In fact, to get from one far-flung district to another, one may have to take at least two separate “conch car” routes because they are fixed to a designated route.  Tourists can avoid dealing with this by simply looking for a “conch car” that has no passengers and negotiate a reasonable sum to take you when you need to go directly (without the driving picking up passengers in the process).  For those renting a car, there are plenty of car rentals agencies in the capital.  Of course, one must be aware of the fact that locals sometimes drive erratically, meaning that they sometimes cross intersections without waiting for the light to change in their favor.  Whenever there are traffic snarls (which are frequent in the capital), some local motorists have driven on the opposing lane to get by.