5 Tips for Flagging a Cab Faster in Victoria

5 Tips for Flagging a Cab Faster in Victoria


After a night out on the town, most people want nothing more than to crawl into a warm bed and go to sleep. Unfortunately, on busy nights it can be difficult to flag a cab to get home.

Uptown Taxi has put together a fun little guide that will help you get home faster on those busy nights, where it seems nearly impossible to flag a cab.

Follow these 5 tips and we guarantee you will cut down the amount of time you wait for a taxi on a busy night.

Tip #1 – Don’t Stand With the Crowds. Do This Instead.

If you are standing right in front of Strathcona or outside Second Slice with 150 other people, it’s going to be very difficult to get a cab. For every one taxi going by, there are dozens of people waving trying to flag them down. This doesn’t work and this is why some people end up waiting a long time.

Instead of standing right in front of Second Slice or Strathcona, move further upstream where the taxis are entering into town. After dropping customers off outside of downtown, there are a handful of routes that most taxis use to re-enter the downtown core. The goal is to move to these entry points because this is where you will find the cabs that are empty and ready to pick up customers.

The key to getting a cab super fast is to move closer towards these entry points and away from the crowds. Here are some examples:

  • Instead of standing in front of Second Slice walk up further to Veneto Lounge or even better City Hall on Douglas and flag from there. Cabs dropping off near Uptown and other areas often come back into town down Douglas Street. You are much more likely to intercept an empty taxi if you move further up Douglas towards where they are re-entering downtown.
  • Instead of standing in front of Strathcona walk down in front of 7/11 located at The Falls condo building. This way you get to intercept taxis coming up Douglas Street (from James Bay) before they get to Strathcona.
  • Instead of standing in front of Darcy’s Pub, The Joint Pizzeria, or Lucky Bar, walk up to the intersection of Johnson and Wharf. Most of the taxis that drop off in Esquimalt come back empty over the Blue Bridge. If you are the first person they see after crossing the bridge they will pick you up!

Check out the map below it will show you where people currently try and flag a cab and where you should actually be standing to flag a cab faster.

Flagging a taxi in Victoria


Tip #2 – Ditch the Food.

There is nothing more delicious than hot pizza or a greasy McDonald’s burger after you have a few beverages – we totally get it! But the thing is, most taxi drivers do not like to pick up people who have food with them. Taxi drivers are worried that you might drop your pizza on the seat or spill your McNugget sauce all over the floor. Lets face it, after a few drinks, not everyone has perfect hand-eye coordination. Taxi drivers are aware of this and try to avoid those with food and drinks in their hand.

The solution? Take a few extra minutes to sit down and enjoy your food at Second Slice, McDonald’s, or Burger King. Once your done eating, hop outside and flag down a cab. In most cases, when a cab driver notices you have no food in your hands, he will drive right past the guy waving him down with pizza and pick you up instead!  

Tip #3 – Make it Clear You Want a Taxi.

Make sure when you are hailing a cab that you don’t do a lazy man’s wave. If you only have your hand up halfway or are looking the other way we aren’t sure if you are actually waving us down. Make sure the cab driver can clearly see you are trying to hail down a taxi.

** Bonus tip:  Try and make direct eye contact with the driver. This is the best way for them to acknowledge you. **

Tip #4 – Please Don’t Run Out Into the Middle of The Road.

When cab drivers see someone run into the middle of the road they immediately think you are extremely intoxicated. Drivers are worried that if you are unpredictable outside of the taxi you might be a handful to deal with inside the taxi. For this reason they are hesitant to pick you up. Someone who is standing on the sidewalk calmly waving has two times better odds of being picked up than a person running out into the street cutting off a taxi in traffic.

Tip #5 – Check the Taxi Top Light.

Not everyone knows this, but all taxis have top lights that are wired to the meter. Once the meter is turned on, the top light turns off to signal to others outside of the taxi that the cab is now in service and unavailable. Don’t waste your energy chasing or waving down taxis that have their top light off. They already have a customer inside. Only focus on waving down cabs that have their top light on, these are the only ones that can pick you up.

We hope our 5 tips guide gives you a competitive advantage next time you need to hail down a taxi. The next time you are out on a busy night and need to flag down a taxi look for Uptown Taxi’s bright blue SUV’s. All of our taxis can fit up to six passengers and we charge the same price as regular sedan taxis!

3 Reasons to Flag an Uptown Taxi:

  • We aren’t like other cab companies that get upset when you ask to pay with debit or credit. Our friendly drivers will accept debit, credit, and cash without any hassle!
  • We hire only friendly and fun drivers. For every 30 applicants, Uptown Taxi only hires 1 driver that meets our company culture. Why? Because we want to maintain the best reputation for fun and friendly drivers. We only hire people with great personalities, fun to be around, and love chatting with our customers!
  • We have clean cabs that don’t smell funky. We want all of our cabs to smell nice so we change our air fresheners every week. All vehicles are also cleaned and washed every night to keep them in tip-top shape!

Next time you need a taxi in Victoria, remember to ride with Uptown Taxi. Save our number in your phone as ‘taxi’ 250-888-3000.

You can also pre-book one of our vehicles if you have an early morning flight from Victoria International Airport.

Flagging a taxi in Victoria

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