Photographer's Note

Run for your lives:

The sign indicates "paradero de taxi amarillo" yellow taxi cab stop in downtown LIma (notice nice colonial balconies on the background). I say run for your lives because taxis in Peru are a safety nuissance: They only care about pedestrians if they are going to pay the fare and if not they are as good as dead men: "literaly". Ok, I exagerate a bit, but driving in Peru is one of the worst I have ever seen and its usually taxi drivers and minibus drivers who are the worst.

This stop is for yellow taxis which are all affiliated to a particular taxi company, there are other taxi companies with other colours, and there are private taxi companies which are "de confianza" which you call to pick you up, and then there is Mr. Lopez who drives his old car on his way to his underpaid job and picks up passengers that are going inhis direction to make extra money. There are literally hundreds of Mr. Lopezes in Lima and if you add Mr. Martinez, Mr. Peres, Mr. Quispe and Mr. Mamani you are at tens of thousands.

Taxi fares are very inexpensive and you can get around for very little. A 5 KM ride could cost you 1 - 2 USD. THus people use them. Even though I realise that Peru has a very disorganized system where everyone does what they want resulting in chaos, I think that in principle cities in the first world could learn a thing or two from us. Taxi licenses in first world cities can run to more than 100,000 USD, Taxi fares are expensive, thus people feel constrained to have their own cars, God forbid may you need to use a taxi, you will pay for the privilege. Maybe giving more people the hability to make a buck with their cars (within a limit) might not be a bad idea after all.

gaby, Paolo, ChrisJ, capthaddock, alejandroguzman has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by daniel barreto (rbcy1974) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2354 W: 147 N: 3406] (20758)
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