Taxi Cab Glossary of Terms


In the world of a taxi driver the fare is one of the most important issues of the day. A fare is the price that is going to be charged for the use of the vehicle and the services of the driver. Although some taxis might offer negotiable fees on some fares, most will be determined by a structured price chart or by using a taximeter. These can usually make it easier for both passenger and driver to understand what the final price is going to be for the taxi services.

A fare can be drastically different in many parts of the US. Fares will also differ according to each country where taxis are utilized. In some instances the fare will be a set amount depending on the distance, time involved or other factors. There are many situations where a fare will begin at a predetermined amount, and then increase at specific distance intervals.


The passenger is the person who is actually being transported from one location to another. Passengers do not have to be the same individuals who arranged for the taxi service. Taxi passengers may be carrying luggage, boxes, shopping bags or other items. In extreme instances the amount of additional items could also result in a higher fare.


The majority of people in the US are often going to use the term taxi for almost any type of vehicle that is hired for transportation purposes. Taxicab is another term that you will hear being used on a daily basis. There are even people who refer to these vehicles as ‘cabs’.

No matter which term is used to describe this type of transportation service a taxi is going to be a hired vehicle that provides rides and delivery service for persons, animals and parcels.


A cab could be a term that is used interchangeably to describe a hired vehicle with a driver. As opposed to a limo service, most cabs are simply utilitarian rides that promote functional service instead of luxurious amenities.

Cab is a shortened version of the ‘cabriolets’ which gave rise to today’s taxi services. A cabriolet was a horse drawn buggy that could be used to transport people from one place to another. Some people still use the term ‘cab’ to refer directly to the horse drawn ‘hansoms’ that remain popular in many larger cities.


A taxi driver is an individual who is in control of the vehicle operations. Drivers could be handling a horse, a team of horses or a traditional motor vehicle.

In most jurisdictions these professional drivers must be licensed to drive a taxicab. The licensing information, and a picture ID of the driver, must be displayed along the front visor of the vehicle; or at least displayed in a prominent location where the information can be seen by all passengers.


When a driver is beginning a trip it is important to know the destination. This is the location where the passenger wants to be taken. If a passenger is unsure of the exact destination the dispatcher or a GPS system could prove very helpful.

All destination addresses must be relayed to the dispatcher. This information relay is part of the safety checklists that all taxi drivers must learn.


A route is the path the taxi will take to reach the chosen destination. In almost every situation the driver should take the most direct route from Point A to Point B. If a passenger requests a scenic tour then a different route can be selected.


Taxi drivers will be called to make a pickup. This term is used when a fare has entered the taxi. In some instances a driver may be asked to make a ‘pickup’ that involves only personal items instead of an actual passenger.

Drop Off

When the taxi arrives at the agreed upon destination the passenger will exit the cab. This is referred to as a ‘drop off’. The term ‘drop off’ can also be used when a driver is delivering papers, luggage or other parcels to a specific destination.

Round Trip

Some taxi drivers will make a round trip instead of a one way delivery. This means that the driver will ferry the passenger (or parcels) to one location and then make a return trip to the original pickup site.