What is a reasonable price for a cab ride from ALB to downtown Albany?

generic light up taxi signCarolyn emails with a holiday travel question:

Wondering if you can do a thread on what to expect if you're flying into Albany and trying to get to downtown Albany by taxi. In the past I have had to some strange experiences. I.E. having to share cabs with strangers and then been price gouged for the pleasure.
This year I'm going to try and set a price before leaving the airport but I'm not even sure what's normal here. What is a reasonable amount to pay for a cab from the airport to Albany? Thanks and happy holidays!

Let's just put this way: We don't think Carolyn is alone in having odd Capital Region experiences. We're guessing plenty of people have their own similar stories.

So, got an answer to Carolyn's question -- or even just some local taxi negotiation strategies? Please share!

photo: Flickr user Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix) (cc)


There is a newer much more professional cab service at the airport. They are clean, metered and accept credit cards. I would guess about $25 roughly.

I'm not sure about what prices for cabs should be from the airport to Albany, and this story kind of relates why:

A couple years ago I needed to get to work at Stuyvesant Plaza, and was living near the intersection of Carmen Road and Route 20 in Guilderland at the time. I would normally bike, but I had gotten up late, so I called a cabbie.

He arrived about a half hour later and we drove down to Stuyvesant Plaza. When we got there, I asked how much the fee was, and he gave me a long look that I took to mean I was dense. Perhaps I was, and perhaps because of that he said it would be $54.

Not expectign such a hgih price, I only had $30 on hand, so when I balked, he glared at me. Nonetheless, not wanting to stiff him, I fished out all the cash I had on hand and handed it over. To this day I'm not sure whether I should regret stiffing him or be bothered at having been stiffed...

Regardless, since then I've never taken a cab in the Capital District.



You always have the right to ask up front - before they car starts moving. If the driver tells you they don't know, ask them to contact dispatch and ask them. They are required to provide a quote, if not exact, a very close ballpark.

@Ian - you got ripped off. That ride should have cost around $20.

I don't have a smart phone, but there are all sorts of new services you can use if you have a smart phone - like Uber (not sure if it is available in the Capital District). You create an account and reserve a car. You are sent the name of the driver, the cost of the ride, and billed all through your phone. I know a lot of people who use the service in Seattle because the cab service is pretty bad. I think the service here in the Capital District is the worst. It is the only place I have lived where you can call for a cab and be told they have no cabs available.

My experience with cab drivers around here leads me to believe that this is some kind of work program available to felons who have not yet been assigned a prison cell yet. Either that or this is some kind of government program designed to test exactly how much continued abuse an area can take before citizens rise up and go all Frankenstein. Whatever the reason it's a disgrace. You are probably safer hitchhiking through Syria. I've taken cabs all over the world from Bucharest to Beirut and none have been as bad as here. I had a cab explode into flames in Moscow and the driver was still more polite than any in the Albany area. Just using the words "polite" and "Russian cab driver" seems almost impossible, except in this case.

there is bus
trailways and cdta for approx. 1.5 to 5 dollars

you can catch a ride to northway mall via cab, and bus it about 10-12

or call your own cab will give you a flat rate home vs. an airport meter.

airport to downtown via meter cab has cost me 31 dollars.

xina is right about asking before you get in. It's NYS law they have to give you an estimate before the ride if you ask.

I've taken quite a few cabs from downtown to Latham (near the airport) and it's usually around $30. I learned the hard way to always ask beforehand though. There were a couple times I didn't ask, thinking it would be about 30 like it always is, then they ask for $40 or more once you arrive.

They have a dedicated taxi service. I live on the far side of Albany and it cost me nearly $45. It's expensive for what it is. Phone a friend if possible - that's your best bet, or shell out the $5/day parking fee.

One thing that stood out for me the last time I used cabs for the airport was the difference in fares between going to the airport and the same trip in reverse.

To go from my house to the airport around midnight, I was charged $15. To come home from the airport a week later...again around midnight and using the exact same route turn-for-turn...the price doubled.

I've had such bad experiences with local taxi service in general that I now simply won't use them unless some sort of emergency arises and leaves me with no other options.

Here's one for the annals:

A few Saturday's ago, I was having drinks with friends in downtown Albany. As it was getting late, I decided that I would call a cab. When I walked outside to place the call, I saw a cab at the corner. I walked to the curb, waved my hand and he came right over. I asked how much it would be to take me to the DELSO, he asked my address and for how many people, I said one and gave him my address. He quoted $8.00. I got in and was safe at home in 10 minutes.

Cab service in the Capital Region is unreliable, unpleasant and unfair. Prepare for the worst.

I knew a guy who would haggle the fare when cabbies would have experiences like Ian's $54 fare story.

Most of my cab experiences have been in the $30 range.

Capitaland Taxi, which has the airport contract and the only cabs allowed to sit there, is atrocious. The cabs are metered and the rates are outrageous. I would suggest calling either Yellow Cab or Colonie Checker Cab. Both offer far less expensive service. If you take Amtrak into Albany, the cabs there (Advantage Transit) are not metered. They are reasonable and will give you the exact amount of your fare before departing.

AOA, why aren't taxi cabs metered in Albany?

your first born child.

I had to take a cab from near Lincoln Park to the airport in June '12 very early, around 5-5:30am. I'm reasonably sure I ended up giving the cabbie only $20 and that included tip.
Do the fares differ depending on time of day, I wonder?

I saw a cabbie in downtown Albany this week urinating while standing next to his car -- in broad daylight. This struck me as odd because it was right near the bus station, which I assume has bathrooms.

I know that has nothing to do with the airport, but it seems to have something to do with the quality of local cab drivers.

Since Xina mentioned the cab service in Seattle...I'm going to expand on my experiences with each.

I used to live in Seattle and the cab service there is far above the one here in Albany. In Seattle, I could call a cab and they would tell me a cab would be at my door in 5 minutes and sure enough everytime the cab was there within 5 minutes. And never in Seattle did I have a cab pick up other passengers and take me all over the city before dropping me off...which has happend to me every time I've used a cab in Albany. Out of all the cab drivers I came across in Seattle only one was a little creepy...all the others were really friendly. Here in Albany, I can pretty much count on every cab driver being creepy. The cabs in Seattle were always clean and well maintained...not so with the ones I've used in Albany.

Taxis FROM the airport are supposed to be adhering to this schedule:

I have a dislike of cabs generally, but the cabs here are particularly awful. At least the prices from the airport are supposed to be regulated. The taxis from the train station will not leave until they've crammed as many people as possible into them, regardless of where those people are going, and the drivers have zero knowledge of local geography, so if you're going somewhere other than a local hotel, good luck. I missed one of my daughter's school events because of time wasted trying to assure the driver that no one else would be going to the nearby high school, and then trying to explain to him where it was.

Once upon a time, I called a cab to pick me up around Manning Blvd in Albany, and drive me downtown to my house, near the Palace theater. The cabbie took a really weird route, and I realized he was picking up other people. He picked up a bunch of rowdy teens to bring them from one bar to another. En route, one of the teens threw up in the cab. I had to ride the rest of the way int he cab with the vomit, and the cab driver cursing and complaining about the vomit (I did feel bad for him, my night was bad, his was worse, I'd guess). Either way, I did not choose these travel companions, and I think it is absurd that this is a common practice in this city. I avoid cabs in Albany at all costs now because you never know when a drunk teenager may puke during your ride.

Sounds like an excellent job for our new mayor! Ms. Sheehan, please help!

$25 -$30, in my opinion.

I've been using cabs for years in Albany, there terrible. I've had guys drinking liquor while driving me home blowing through red lights. I've had cab drivers flipping out swearing. You name it, it's happened. I've said it to a few friends of mine that we should start a cab service in Albany and have it metered, be polite and higher decent drivers. Problem is here in Albany you'd probable have to grease a few politicians wheels and than fill out 500 pages of regulations, just to have your life threatened for "moving in" on someone else's business. Have to love Albany, NY. I still use the cabs around here, but I don't take any of there BS and tell them point what I'll pay to go somewhere. If I were you I'd ask up front how much the ride is, if it's not what you think it should be, if your at the Airport, just get another cab. Find a driver who is hungry and they'll take what your offering.

I cannot drive at the moment because of a medical condition, but cannot afford to pay those prices for cabs. I've had friends take me and family, but I hate to keep asking people. I can't take the bus because I can't walk that far to the stop, yet. So a cab would be the only way. If UBER were here maybe it would be much cheaper and easier (and it sounds like more pleasant too) I do hope it comes to the area.

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