First of all, Saint Petersburg does not have its official city taxi as many other big cities across the globe do. No yellow cars as in New York, no black cabs as in London, only private operators. And not all of them are metered, though requesting a receipt is usually not a problem.
How Taxi Industry Works Here
Important note: Some companies position themselves as official taxi, “city taxi” and so on, thus trying to underline their unexisting link with the city’s government or something like that. Keep in mind, this is just an attempt to promote itself with the help of light misleading.
Unlike in European and American towns, in St. Petersburg you can take any cab you like waiting in front of a hotel or airport, not only first one in a queue. The locals usually book a trip by phone or through a website of a taxi company. The fare is being told by an operator or seen at the site immediately and never (it’s our practice and the practice of our friends) revised. In the past, foreign tourists often had some troubles with taxi drivers in St. Petersburg, nowadays it’s excluded when booking by phone. In St. Petersburg’s airport Pulkovo there is a desk of the official airport’s taxi which we recommend. And it’s one of the cheapest.
Payment by credit card is being accepted by most companies, but it’s better to ask a dispatcher if the company accepts it. This kind of payment does not attract any additional charge.
Once you booked a cab, soon before departure you get an SMS and a call with an identification number and a type of a car which to arrive to transfer you further to your destination.
Additional charges can be applied when you need a child’s chair, have very big luggage, want to have your pets transported etc.
What’s important is that taxi companies cooperate and if they currently don’t have enough cabs at hand for accomplishing an order they transfer it to another carrier or a freelance driver. So, if you book a taxi, for example, from company A, you may get a car painted in colors of company B. Usually it’s not a problem, the fare doesn’t change. Who is a freelance driver? In Russia you are not required to have a taxi driver’s license to work. Many men have contracts with a few taxi companies and in their free time pick up any order they are getting through apps from dispatchers. Well, yes, of course, it may sometimes result in some troubles, when a taxi operator cannot quickly find a car though you need go to the airport right now. But it happens rather rarely. An average official waiting time for a car is 15 minutes, in fact you get an SMS and a call in 5-10 minutes. Why so quickly? The answer is that the system covers numerous freelance drivers distributed throughout the city. When a company’s call center receives a call (or an order through the Internet), it sends the order through an app to the drivers and one of them which is near to your location and which is interested in the order accepts it. Once upon a time a driver came just one minute later after the moment a trip had been booked.
Many companies, of course, operate their own fleet and combine it with freelancers or even don’t hire unstaffed drivers. In any case, you can be calm for the quality of service and price. Problems might occur when you hail a taxi in the street and come across a driver who knows how to get from a foreigner’s wallet much more money than really needed.
How Much Is Taxi In St. Petersburg
Below you’ll find the prices for taxi trips from Pulkovo airport to some parts of the city and from / to the city’s center (the Nevsky avenue) to the other parts of the area.
Taxi Fare In St. Petersburg To / From Pulkovo Airport, rubles:
Center 605 – 770
West part 810 – 970
East part 730 – 900
North 980 – 1410
South 525 – 630
By the way read our text about real taxi fare from Pulkovo.
Taxi Fare In St. Petersburg To / From City Center
West 320 – 440
East 375 – 550
North 450 – 620
South 470 – 650
Taxi Fare From St. Petersburg’s City Center To Suburbs, rubles:
Kronstadt 1115 – 1590
Petergof 1010 – 1150
Pushkin (Tsarskoe selo) 785 – 1010
Pavlovsk 905 – 1180
Gatchina 1150 – 1390
Vyborg 4000 – 4700
How we calculated: we studied websites of five taxi operators in Saint Petersburg and got average figures. These prices are for you to orient oneself in the market so that not to be misled by tricky taxi drivers.
You can book the Kiwitaxi service with their English speaking drivers.