When exiting the airport in Recife, you will see a uniformed lady asking if you need a taxi. She will direct you to a line of cabs right outside the door. If you look carefully, you will see that they say “Táxi Especial” or “Táxi Aeroporto”. That means you are going to pay more for that ride. But you don’t have to pay more.
I did some research to write this article and found Tânia Passo’s blog Mobilidade Urbana. I learned that in February the Companhia de Trânsito e Transporte Urbano (CTTU) prohibited most of the taxis in the city from driving through the arrival area of the airport, never mind stopping to get a passenger. With the measure, there are now only 120 taxis authorized to work at the airport and it is estimated that 20,000 passengers arrive at the airport daily.
The authorized cabs are what we call táxis credenciados. Sixty of these taxis are “Táxi Especial”. They are the ones you will see right outside the door when you exit the airport. It is more expensive to ride with them. You need to pay a pre-fixed price in advance.
But if you ask for a “táxi comum”, you will learn that if you walk a few steps to the end of the concourse you find another line of taxis outside the last exit door. These are also authorized to work at the airport, but they are common cabs, so you pay the regular price of a ride as determined by a regular meter. That’s what Carl and I did last week.
On Tânia’s blog I also learned that Recife has an average of 1 taxi for each 251 people, not counting tourists. Needless to say it is not always east to get a cab here.
Now you know. When at the airport in Recife, you have the option to walk a few steps and pay the regular price for your taxi ride.
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