How does taxi meter works: Measuring Distance and Time – How Taxi Meters Work

How do taximeters work? Read about it in our blog!

  • 23 October 2019

Taximeter (noun) taxi·​me·​ter | \ ˈtak-sē-ˌmē-tər \ an instrument for use in a hired vehicle (such as a taxicab) for automatically showing the fare due

That’s the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary entry for the word taximeter. Did you ever think the first known use of this word was in 1894? A taximeter is a device that calculates the price for your taxi ride. How does it work and what are laws and regulations for this device?

What is a taximeter?

A taximeter is a calibrated and annually inspected device that calculates the price for your taxi ride. Three elements determine the final meter price:

  • Boarding rate;
  • Mileage rate;
  • Time rate.

The Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management determines the maximum rates for these three components each year.

A taxi company is not obliged to drive at maximum rates. It may, therefore, happen that at company X a kilometer by taxi is more expensive than at company Y. In practice, this is hardly ever the case in Amsterdam.

The history of the taximeter

German-born Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Bruhn (1853-1927) invented the taximeter in 1891. In 1897, Bruhn’s compatriot Gottlieb Daimler was the first to build a taxi equipped with a taximeter: the Daimler Victoria. Daimler’s company ultimately gave rise to Mercedes-Benz.

An old mechanical taximeter. Photo by Tamorlan – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The first taxi parameters were mechanical and mounted above the driver’s front wheel. That wasn’t very handy; the customer couldn’t see what rate the meter was charging. Soon the meters were moved inside, in the taxi.

The electronic meter was introduced in the 1980s. The once familiar ticking sound of the meter’s timing mechanism disappeared as a result.

How a taximeter works

Taximeters determine the distance travelled and the elapsed time of your taxi ride. The apparatus uses electric pulses to calculate the distance. A sensor attached to the car’s transmission system sends pulses to the taximeter each time the taxi travels a certain distance.

Example: Our imaginary sensor sends a pulse to the taximeter for every centimeter travelled. However, not every centimeter is added to the fare. Our hypothetical taximeter does not increase the fare until 100 metres have been covered. In this example, you pay for every 100 metres that you have driven in a taxi.

When calibrating the taximeter, the mechanic determines how many speed pulses the distance sensor delivers at a distance of one kilometer. This number is used by the device to carry out the rate calculations.

As soon as the driver starts his meter, it records the time at which it was activated. Once the driver stops the meter, the computer calculates the time in between. The taximeter uses this metric, together with the total amount of speed pulses sent, to calculate the final fare.

The metered fare often turns out higher than you’ve hoped for!

Laws and regulations

The taximeter is mandatory for drivers who operate on the taxi-hailing market. Drivers that do pre-booked rides for which no price agreement has been made in advance need a meter as well.

As of January 1st 2016, a taximeter is no longer mandatory if the driver(s) of the vehicle only arrange trips for which “a fixed rate has been agreed in advance with the consumer in a manner that is recognisable and transparent”. For example, a driver can only use his or her taxi for carrying out subsidised taxi transport.

If a driver is active on the hailing market (i.e. if he drives from taxi stands or takes ‘hands’ on the street), he must have taxi fare cards in the taxi. On these information cards, you can see what the exact rates are that this driver uses.

Staxi: metered fare versus fixed fare

Of course, you can hail a Staxi on the street or take one from a taxi rank. However, if you know in advance that you need a taxi, then it is worth making a reservation with us. In that case, you’ll have nothing to do with metered fares, but you’ll benefit from the fixed prices we offer.

Check in the online fare calculators what the fixed rate is for your Staxi ride and get acquainted with our services. 

Manage consent

How Taxi Meters Work

If you live in an urban area and frequently use a taxi,
You know that dealing with taxi cabs means dealing with a lot of variables.
Every time you go for a cab,
You have to wonder if the driver will know the best route if he’ll be chatty if he’ll be a safe driver and most importantly,
If you’ll be able to get a cab at all.
As anyone who’s ever tried to hail a cab in the rain can tell you,
Traveling by taxi can sometimes feel like a crapshoot.

But, with all the variables you expect to encounter in a cab,
One that most people don’t give a thought to is the taxi meter. That little box next to the driver is supposed to be an impartial arbiter of time,
Distance and cost making sure that neither you nor the driver gets ripped off.
Most cab riders rely on the meter to determine the fare,
But don’t give a thought to how the meter works.

Understanding how taxi meters works can help put your mind at ease when you take a cab. That’s especially true if you travel to cities that you’re unfamiliar with. When you travel, a cab driver can be an impromptu tour guide,
Taking you to local spots that the guide books and most tourists miss. On the other hand, travelers can also feel at the mercy of a cab driver.
Knowing how a taximeter and taxi fares work can
Help you be your advocate to make sure that you and
The taxi cab driver is treated fairly.
Plus, if you know how a taxi meter works,
You’ll have a nice nugget of information to get a conversation with your driver rolling.

Keep reading to learn how a taxi meter determines your cab fare.

Measuring Distance and Time

To put it simply, taxi meters measure distance and time. They then convert those measurements into a fare.
Taxi fares are set by the area the taxi cab operates in other words,
It might cost more to travel the same distance or time in one city than it does in another. Fares may also change based on how many people are in the taxi,
If the driver has to help you with your bags and if the taxi has to cross state or
Municipal lines to get you where you’re going.

No matter where they operate,
However, all taxi meters measure the distance a cab covers,
Plus any time spent waiting. That way, the driver gets compensated for the time,
So, they don’t lose out on money just because they’re stuck in traffic. It’s also why a cab ride from point A to point B may cost you more when there’s traffic than when there’s not,
Even if the distance covered is the same.

A taximeter uses electric pulses to measure both distance and time.
To get the distance traveled,
The meter relies on a sensor attached to the cab’s transmission. The sensor sends an electric pulse to the meter every time the cab travels a given distance. Inside the meter, itself is a timer that sends out a pulse when a set amount of time passes. Pulses come from either sensor at intervals that are smaller than the fare interval. For example, a cab might charge you based on every 100 yards (91.44 m) of travel, but the distance meter will pulse at each yard (0.9 meters). When the meter gets 100 pulses, it adds to the amount of the fare.

Here’s an example of fares from New York City.

Just hailing a cab and getting in will cost you $2.50. For every fifth of a mile (0.3 kilometers), you travel, 40 cents is added to the fare (a fifth of a mile is four city blocks). For every minute the cab sits without moving,
Go Pro For More HighlightsAnother 40 cents gets added to the fare.

Real traffic conditions aren’t that simple, however. In a typical New York cab ride,
You’ll deal with stop-and-go traffic. To deal with stop-and-go traffic,
Meters merge calculations from both the time and the distance sensors,
Counting whichever pulse — time or distance — arrives first.
Remember, the pulses come more often than the actual distance or wait time.
So, if you wait 30 seconds in traffic and then cover two blocks in New York City, the taximeter will merge the two and add 40 cents to the fare:
20 cents for the distance traveled and 20 cents for the time spent waiting.

Common Fares

No matter what, you know you’re going to get charged with the time you spend in a cab and the distance you travel;
However, some areas have other fares that are added to your time and distance charges. The cab driver enters those fares on the meter itself.

The most common fare type is a simple pickup fee. In the New York City example we mentioned on the previous page, it costs $2.50 just to get into a cab. If you get a cab in New York between 4 and 8 p.m., you’ll get charged an additional peak-hour surcharge of $1.00. After 8 p.m., there’s a night surcharge of 50 cents.
Plus, the passenger is responsible for any tolls,
And there’s a 50-cent sales tax on each cab ride.

Most municipalities only cover fares within their limits. Generally speaking, if you ask a cab to leave city limits, you get charged a different set of fares.

For example:

If you catch a cab in New York to go to Newark Airport, you get charged a Rate Code 3:
The normal time and distance traveled rate, plus a surcharge of $15. If you take a cab from New York City to Westchester or Nassau Counties,
The portion of the trip that’s within those counties costs twice as much as the rate in the city. It’s 80 cents for every fifth of a mile (0.3 kilometers) or minute of waiting time. New York cabs don’t charge with additional passengers, but cabs in Washington D.C. Do — it’s $1. 50 for an additional passenger. D.C. cabs also charge 50 cents if the driver has to help you with more than one bag.

Most cities require cabs to have all fares posted in the cab,
So, you can have a good idea of what you should be charged. Of course, that doesn’t always stop a very few unscrupulous drivers from trying to take advantage of passengers,
Particularly if the passengers don’t know the area well.

Taxi Meters and Scams

One of the advantages of taxi meters is that they provide an accurate measure of what the fare should be.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways for taxi drivers to take advantage of their passengers.
While the vast majority of cab drivers would never take advantage of a passenger,
It pays to be on your guard in case you encounter one of the few drivers who would.

A common taxi driver scam is to get more money from a fare by taking a long way.

While that sometimes means taking a less-than-direct route,
In egregious cases, it can mean driving passengers around in circles. This type of scam usually only works on people who are unfamiliar with the city they’re in. If you’re traveling,
Keep a map handy and know the basics of the most direct route for where you want to go. You can even download smartphone apps,
That calculates the most direct route and let you know what the fare should be.

While taking the great distance may be a low-tech scam,
Drivers also can cash in of passengers by adding surcharges or changing the fare type to at least one that costs more. Remember how fares that take the cab into Westchester
And Nassau Counties from NY City cost double the speed of travel within the town?

Fares within the city are Fare Code 1; drivers set the fare code once they devour passengers. In 2010, NY City officials found that cab drivers had been charging the
Nassau and Westchester fare rates for fares within the city by entering Fare Code 4,
Which tells the meter to calculate the fare at twice the speed for travel within the town. You’ll protect yourself from a scam like this by knowing the fare codes for the town
You’re in and ensuring the driving force is using the proper one. Fare codes should be posted within the cab. If you are feeling just like the driver is using the incorrect code,
Go Pro For More HighlightsGet their license information (which should even be posted within the cab)
And report them to their city’s taxi commission.

Taxi meters use objective measures to guard drivers,
And passengers. As long as you concentrate on the meter and know your rights,
There is no reason to stress that your next cab ride is going to be anything,
But wonderful assuming, that is, you’ll find one.


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  • Aquila Electronics. “How Do Taximeters Work?” (March 9, 2011) http://www.
  • District of Columbia Taxicab Commission. “Interstate Fares for District of Columbia Taxicabs.” (March 8, 2011)
  • Matarese, Jennifer. “Taxi Meter Scam Overcharged 1.8 Million Riders.” WABC-TV. March 12, 2010 (March 9, 2011)
  • New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. “Passenger Information: Rate of Fare.” New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. (March 9, 2011)
  • Zax, David. “Introducing the First Real Taxi Meter Innovation in 100 Years.” Fast Company. February 8, 2011. (March 9, 2011) innovation-in-over-100-years

Taximeter for Taxi Drivers|GPS Taximeter in TMDriver App





Features for Driver


Taximeter app

part of driver app


The taximeter allows you to calculate the cost of the route based on the specified fares, distance traveled and travel time. Thanks to the taximeter, both the passenger and the driver will always know the exact price of the trip.

Download useful material about the benefits of a taximeter for drivers

Learn more about how the Taximeter app makes the job of drivers easier and more efficient.

















02 Uzbekistan




Czech Republic





Taximeter advantages

The taximeter is already included in the application for drivers that they use on their smartphones

Information about the trip immediately comes from the taximeter to the program. The cost and route are already fixed, the driver and operator do not waste time processing the order

Since the order is processed automatically, the taximeter application reduces the risk of conflicts between the passenger and the driver. The entire history of the trip can be tracked and double-checked in the order card

When ordering, the passenger immediately sees the cost of the upcoming trip. This increases his confidence in the taxi service.

An example of the operation of the taximeter program for android

How the taximeter program works


The taximeter works through an application on the driver’s smartphone. To start the trip, the driver presses the “start” button, the taximeter immediately displays on the screen the cost of the route based on the distance, fare and time of the trip. All this information is also available to the passenger


At the end of the trip, the driver presses the “complete” button, and the taximeter application automatically announces the amount for the passenger again


The taximeter immediately transfers all the data to the order card: travel time, distance traveled, customer waiting time, type of route (country or city), number and places of stops, total cost of the trip. All this information can be viewed at any time, if there is a need to double-check something.

Taxi‑Master customer reviews about the application Taximeter

“Thanks to the taximeter, we were able to provide our customers with full pricing transparency”

Taxi “Ultra” and Taxi “Alliance”,

“One of the most important advantages of the application from Taxi-Master is the ability to set up flexible individual rates. All coordinates are calculated via satellite, the sensor always gives the exact cost. Our clients trust us because they know where and how the price of a trip is taken.”

Director of “Yo-taxi” service,
Krasnoyarsk, Russia

“Before the taximeter, we used a system of fixed prices for a trip around the city. Now the cost is calculated by the sensor, thanks to which both we and the client save money: we do not overpay for fuel and downtime, and passengers can enjoy discounts during happy hours from 10.00 to 15.00.”

Director of Taxi Lokomotiv

“We have several taxi services, and basically we use fixed fares by area. But in the economy taxi service, the cost of the trip is calculated by the taximeter – for the client this is a good savings. In the near future we plan to launch a VIP taxi service with special rates with a taximeter. This is what we like the most: we can use completely different settings in one program”

Director of “Taxi Service 7”
Naberezhnye Chelny, Russia

“It is convenient for our drivers to work with a taximeter: they immediately see both the cost and the route”

Senior Dispatcher “Foreign Taxi”
Koryazhma, Russia

“After a few days, we noticed a positive trend with the taximeter: stable operation and accuracy of calculations are very important for our service”

Director of White Taxi Service,

Connect Taximeter


call us on
+7 (499) 709-84-87 or leave a request on the website


our experts will help you set up a taximeter in the application


speed up the work of drivers and operators, maintain customer loyalty

Send a request and get detailed information about the functions of the taximeter

Application Taximeter for drivers and passengers in the Taxi-Master program

  • The taximeter is already built into the functionality of the application for drivers;

  • The application is free, comes with the purchase of a software package and is installed on a smartphone. It does not need to be purchased separately;

  • The human factor is completely excluded: neither the driver nor the operator can “tweak” the cost of the trip, all calculations are absolutely transparent.

The passenger can watch how the amount changes on the screen as he moves along the route, he sees how many kilometers he has traveled, and what price he will pay.

Taximeter for taxi: the most accurate trip cost meter

The taximeter calculates prices based on the formula embedded in it. Thanks to flexible settings, you can enter tariffs into the program in advance, and the passenger will immediately see the final cost even when ordering a taxi.

You can download a detailed presentation of the taximeter application by filling out the form located above on this page.

Taxi, Uber in Dubai – the cost of services, how to order, tips



Taxi in Dubai is one of the most popular modes of transport. To date, about 10 large companies operate in this service market in the city, the fleet of which consists mainly of modern cars of South Korean and Japanese production – brands Hyundai, Toyota, Nissan and others. At the same time, the age of cars in fleets does not exceed 3 years of operation.

There are two main ways to get a taxi in the city – book in advance (call 04-2080808 or Hala Taxi via the Careem mobile app) or hail a taxi, usually based in car parks near malls, beaches and other places with a high concentration of pedestrians. Payment for taxi services is made to the driver, you can always pay him in cash or by credit card.

Taxi Fare Dubai

  • Boarding without reservation 5 AED.
  • When pre-ordering by phone 12 AED.
  • Cost per kilometer 2 AED.
  • Minimum payment AED 12.

Service from Uber Dubai

The principle of operation of Uber is to cooperate with a large number of private drivers connected to the company’s unified information network – most operate in personal cars. The passenger submits an application – the taxi driver finds him through the system. Using an application for a mobile device, the client can track the route of the ordered taxi on the map. This principle of operation is relevant for most countries. In Dubai, the company works a little differently. Only drivers with a special license can work for Uber in the city. They must be registered as employees with limousine service companies. The reason is simple – to engage in private transportation to individuals within the UAE is prohibited in accordance with the laws of the country.

The order is made only through the official website or UBER app. You must also be a registered user. Payment is possible both by credit cards and cash.

Fare Uber Dubai

Economy class:

  • UberXL (for large groups) Boarding 13.22 AED.
  • Cost per kilometer AED 2.70.
  • Minimum payment AED 25.43.
  • UberSELECT Boarding AED 8.14
  • Cost per kilometer AED 1.