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Taxi service is notoriously bad in San Francisco, and hailing a cab can be frustratingly difficult in some parts of the city, especially on weekends. Popular nightspots such as the Mission, SoMa, North Beach, the Haight, and the Castro have a lot of cabs but a lot of people looking for taxis, too. Midweek, and during the day, you shouldn't have much of a problem—unless it's raining. In a pinch, hotel taxi stands are an option, as is calling for a pick-up. But be forewarned: taxi companies frequently don't answer the phone in peak periods. The absolute worst time to find a taxi is Friday afternoon and evening; plan well ahead, and if you're going to the airport, make a reservation or book a shuttle instead. Most taxi companies take reservations for airport and out-of-town runs but not in-town transfers.
Taxis in San Francisco charge $3.50 for the first 1/5 mile (one of the highest base rates in the United States), 55¢ for each additional 1/5 mile, and 55¢ per minute in stalled traffic; a $2 surcharge is added for trips to the airport. There is no charge for additional passengers; there is no surcharge for luggage. For trips outside city limits, multiply the metered rate by 1.5; tolls and tip are extra.
DeSoto Cab (415/970-1300. www.desotosf.com.)
Luxor Cab (415/282-4141. www.luxorcab.com.)
Veteran's Taxicab (415/648-1313.)
Yellow Cab (415/626-2345. yellowcabsf.com.)
San Francisco Police Department Taxi Complaints (415/553-1447.)
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