They are everywhere, they are cheap (a single trip doesn’t usually cost more than 10 Dh), and they can get you to anywhere (within the regulated limit that is) in the city. These taxis are a huge part of Morocco’s transportation. They are the same color in one city (red in Fez, light blue in Meknes, and blue in Rabat), and they run on a meter (they should anyway). I take them everyday to get to school and from school back home. They run on a meter that increases by 0.20 Dh certain distance ran. As convenient as they sound like, there are quite a few things about them that aren’t that great.
First of all, the taxi drivers don’t take all passengers. Before getting into a taxi, you have to first tell the taxi driver where you are going, and he will decide if he wants to take you there. I still couldn’t figured out the logic and criteria behind this. Do they take passengers when they feel like it? Do they think that the place I am going to isn’t worth the 7.60 Dh I am going to pay? Do they think I look silly and don’t want me in their cars? I don’t know, but I have the experience of not being able to get a taxi for at least 20 minutes today, and I am still wondering. (Our on-site orientation says that between 12 to 1 pm and 5:30 to 6:30 pm, everyone is trying to get to places and it’s hard to get a taxi. Definitely not lying, I never thought getting a taxi would be difficult until I came here.)
Second of all, you may share the taxi with someone else. By someone else I mean someone you don’t know but is going towards the same general direction. Taxi drivers have no problems letting people onto the cab in the middle of the trip because the person that gets on later still pay the full price of the trip (the meter doesn’t get reset). Not really a big deal, but sometimes it does delay you when you are trying to go to places in a hurry.
Thirdly, the taxi drivers are very good/bad drivers. Good in the sense that they drive at a speed that’s fast enough to make you fear for your life, but still slow enough to dodge everything on the road (which ranges from motorcycles, scooters, trucks, children try to sell people in the car stuff, people crossing the street without paying attention, machine with 4 wheels that runs on engine with 20 people packed on top and by no means look like a car, and donkeys). I only see police standing the road once, and he certainly was not paying any attention to the traffic. It’s actually pretty amazing that I haven’t seen any car accidents yet, even though I have been expecting one everyday (Moroccans love those roundabouts/traffic circles). When you see them changing lanes at the traffic circles when the other 15 cars from all directions are trying to do the same, you really wonder what the Moroccan driver’s Ed is like.
Lastly, the taxi drivers don’t always have the best ideas on their mind. It didn’t happen to me, but I have heard stories of people getting on the taxi, was taken to the middle of no where, and was demanded high payment for a return trip (and since they don’t know where they are, they paid). There are also drivers who charge people who look like tourist (i.e.: Americans) a ridiculous high fee for a trip that would only have been a few dirhams using the meter. Note to self, never get on a taxi that doesn’t run on a meter, you will always get rip off.