How it works:
- Version 1: at the Manas International Airport (MIA), there are fixed fares set for different destinations. However, some rogue drivers will quote you inflated fares.
- Version 2: not all taxis have meters. For those which have, some claim that the meter is not working and then charge an inflated fare.
- Version 3: in Osh, there are drivers who rig their meters and they do this at night as it is difficult to tell. At the start, the meter shows zero. A button is clicked, the screen switches off, and at your destination, the screen will be switched on again to show an inflated fare.
Places to beware:
- Bishkek: tourist attractions, hotels, airports, transportation hubs
What to do:
- Avoid: taxis at tourist spots.
- Photo: take a photo of the taxi number and driver’s license.
- Airport: at the Manas International Airport, it should be ~500 som to town, or you can take marshrutka 380. At Osh Airport, it should be ~300 som to town, or you can take marshrutka 107 or 142a.
- Overcharging: use Bamba which has meters or research a fair price to negotiate with – check online fare estimators, your hotel/hostel staff or taxi booking apps (e.g. Namba Taxi).
- Rigged meter red flags: tampered/missing meter seal, only fare is displayed, driver clicking a hidden switch, driving slowly at a high speed area to prevent meter from jumping wildly.