We Rely on the Meter to Determine the Fare

The meter next to the driver is supposed to be an impartial arbiter of time, distance and cost — making sure that neither you nor the driver gets ripped off. 

How Taxi Meters Work

Taxi meters measure the distance a cab covers, plus any time spent waiting. That way, the driver gets compensated for time, so they don’t lose out on money just because they’re stuck in traffic. It’s also why a cab ride from point A to point B may cost you more when there’s traffic than when there’s not, even if the distance covered is the same.


To put it simply, taxi meters measure distance and time. They then convert those measurements into a fare. Taxi fares are set by the area the taxi cab operates in — in other words, it might cost more to travel the same distance or time in one city than it does in another. Fares may also change based on day and night shifts. Taxi meters use objective measures to protect drivers and passengers.


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