Taxi in L.A.?
March 17, 2015 7:36 AM   Subscribe

Can you personally recommend a good taxi / car service in L.A.? Has to service Santa Monica, L.A., Burbank. I'm trying to avoid Uber but might have to resort to them -- so experience with L.A. Uber welcome too. Car rental is not an option. Thanks!
posted by third rail to Travel & Transportation around Burbank, CA (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't live there, but used Lyft on a recent trip to LA and had a great experience with it. I got a first-time use deal, as well, which made it even cheaper than it usually is.
posted by three_red_balloons at 7:39 AM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

I Ubered 4 or 5 times on my recent trip to LA. All but one driver were great. The one who wasn't great mainly listened to loud music and ran a few yellow lights.
posted by matildaben at 8:49 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

In October, found cabs hard to come by and expensive. Uber was cheaper, faster and more convenient every time. Drivers and cars were all fine to excellent.
posted by Sleddog_Afterburn at 9:12 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you are coming out of LAX, I can't remember whether Uber and Lyft still have to sneak in/out or if an agreement was reached.

I don't use Uber because of their gross corporate behavior, Lyft is okay but that's all very dependent on the driver and I have heard stories of reluctance to take a longer haul like Westside-Burbank. If you have a firm schedule and the budget for it and don't have any leeway for screwups, I'd say pick a car service from recent Yelp reviews (it's LA, so there is no reason to settle for anything less than excellent reviews).
posted by Lyn Never at 9:17 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

We used Lyft in LA from Marina Del Ray to the airport.
posted by radioamy at 9:29 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I use Uber in LA often. It's great, and I'll never use a regular taxi again.
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:21 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: So what happens when you request an Uber Black? How do you know which is the car that's coming for you, for instance?
I was just quoted a very high estimate from Uber. ..?
Mostly: Would be grateful for explanations about how you know you're not just getting into some random person's car. Thanks again.
posted by third rail at 10:39 AM on March 17, 2015

I am headed to LA later this month so am watching this thread, but in San Francisco we used an Uber to get from one venue to another during a festival. We weren't sure if there'd be an upcharge or not at that point because it was a Saturday night, but we got a rate quote about 5 minutes before we wanted to leave and it was at regular rate. The driver was right near us and he actually was at the curb before we got there. The app told us our driver's name and we were able to confirm with him before we got in the car. (Actually, he read off my name to make sure I was who he was looking for when we got in the car.)
posted by getawaysticks at 10:57 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Uber Black, at least in San Francisco (and I assume LA) is commercial drivers in commercially licensed cars. Typically black sedans. Uber Black hires professional drivers. UberX is more like Lyft in that it's non-commercial drivers in ordinary cars. I find Uber Black to be excellent and UberX/Lyft is kind of sketchy. Uber Black rates in SF are about 1.5x that of a taxi. Details vary based on time vs. mileage. There's no trouble identifying the Uber Black car; you can match the license plate, and it's typical for the driver and/or passenger to verify the other's name.

I also have ethical concerns about Uber's corporate behavior. But FWIW many of them apply to their treatment of UberX drivers. Uber Black is a bit more on the up-and-up vs. California regulations.
posted by Nelson at 11:34 AM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I actually mean their institutional misogyny, which is not restricted to any one part of the company.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:44 PM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Ditto what sio42 said about IDing the cars. Never had an issue at LGA
Re: Burbank, if cost is crazy take the Flyaways Bus to Van Nuys and Uber from there to your destination.
posted by TravellingCari at 1:09 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

In the past I've used Uber quite a bit on the westside, but lately it seems like there's usually an upcharge, so I've switched over to Lyft.
posted by doctord at 2:57 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Uber Black is based on black car service, which has been based on people having limo licenses. That's why (as of January), Uber Black and Uber drivers who have the limo license can pick up at LAX (we got a regular Uber that happened to be a guy with a limo license who usually drove for Uber Black) with a little rigamarole. They give their kick back to the city and rely on a very thin definition of "previously scheduled," (i.e. they call you and get your info, then log it, then come pick you up, so the "previous" can mean "in the last five minutes"). Lyft is currently negotiating to include the airport fee, but since part of the black car license is a bonding that Lyft drivers don't have (and most Uber drivers don't have), it's a little more dicey. Generally, I prefer Lyft, but I've had sketchy yobbos from pretty much every driving paradigm, so I don't think any of them can entirely protect you without dropping heavy coin.

Anecdotally, I've heard both Sidecar and Flywheel are pretty decent, even if they just get you regular taxis nine times out of 10.

I've also heard great stuff about Homobile up in SF, who benefit the LGBT community. I dunno if they're down in LA yet.
posted by klangklangston at 7:07 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I know out-of-towers who always call the same driver when they come to L.A. I'll get his info and then memail you.

I also think of Uber's culture and safety precautions as somewhat lacking.
posted by tyrantkitty at 9:45 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older I have this Italian friend   |   Precedents for cutting a school program to make... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.