How To Navigate the Austin Texas Transportation System
Visitors using Austin, Texas transportation to and from airports should be aware of who they are travelling with. Travellers are advised to book with their transportation ahead of time to ensure they establish connections with reputable contractors.
For those who arrive at the baggage claim with no ride booked, it may feel like serendipity is shining when a driver comes and touts for a ride, but buyer beware. These gypsy drivers are out looking for an easy buck and have avoided many of the steps required by law to keep passengers safe. Often without insurance and permits, they will lure unsuspecting travellers into potentially very dangerous rides.
Make no mistake; these unsavoury people are clever at what they do. They are practised and expert in their patter. They have to be. The Austin, Texas transportation system offers so much competition that they need to work hard to make their percentage. They will often seem extremely friendly, insisting on carrying luggage, fetching the vehicle or escorting passengers to their cars. This is their courteous way of ensuring passengers do not change their minds, costing them their fare.
Airports are prime hunting grounds but these people will also stalk around tourist areas, bars and restaurants. The more competition the better it is for them. If it seems like a passenger may have to wait, they will be more than happy to offer a quicker alternative.
By far the most virulent strain of illegal cabs are the passenger pirates who feast on suitcase-bearing tourists. Pulling up outside hotels and asking if they are waiting for a ride to the airport, they may claim to have lost the relevant paperwork. The unsuspecting fare payers climb in, oblivious to the fact their original contractor is about to pull up behind them. The ruse often does not become apparent until the fare is demanded at the airport, often far higher than the customer had been quoted by their real company. Should the customer argue the fare, the pirate driver holds the baggage ransom until the fare is settled in cash. These pirates are too savvy to allow their marks to pay in credit card payments, which can be stopped.