One of the first things you will learn when you come to Beirut is the difference between a taxi and a service. We hope to make that lesson easy for you by giving you a brief introduction:
In most cases you will want to say “Service” (A french word rhyming with peace). They are usually marked TAXI and have a red license plate. A taxi becomes a service, when you say “Service…Your Destination.” You can say “Service” to a car labeled Taxi and it is understood that you are paying 2,000 Lira to go to your destination. It is also understood that you are paying just for your seat and he will pick up other passengers along the way. If you said service and the driver demands more than 2,000 LL from you, tell him thanks but that’s “3aadi” and given him 2,000 LL. It is best to have exact change or small bills. If you are traveling a longer distance within Beirut you can say “Double Service” to get a ride easier and pay 4,000 per seat. Beirut is a compact city and you will find you can walk to many places easily and quickly.
If you say “Taxi” to any driver, that means you are automatically paying 10,000 Lira for a private cab. If you are planning to taking a taxi you might as well call ahead and they will come to you at the scheduled time. Try Trust Taxi at 01 61 35 73 and they will tell you the price based on the distance you are traveling.
A red license plate means a car is a taxi or service.