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Taxi Safety in Quito

I just wanted to remind everyone of some key things about taxi safety you should be aware of in Quito.

**There is a very real risk to your safety even in Quito when taking a taxi**

-The risk is less during the daytime, but still real nonetheless
-Paseo de millionario occurs in several latin american countries such as Colombia, Venzuela, and Ecuador (This is where up to three people will attack you for whatever valuables you have and visit several ATMs with any cards you have--they will also pepper spray your eyes so you cannot identify them)

Some precautions you should take:

-Always try to call for a taxi to pick you up
-Don't carry your passport with you, just a color copy
-Do not carry large amounts of cash and no more than 1 bank or credit card
-If you find yourself in a different part of town and you call for a taxi but none are available, walk to the nearest big hotel or large shopping center if you can--they usually have their own taxis
-Don't travel alone if you can help it and tell someone where you are going

-The government has issued safety increases with registered taxis with two cameras inside and a red panic button along the door pillar (not ALL of the taxis have this and of course over time there may be dummy ones put in or disconnected by dishonest drivers)
-Keep the doors locked on the inside and the windows up
-NEVER take a taxi without a company name on the side and or license plates

-Remember that the risk is MUCH higher at nighttime

If you are in a situation:

-The driver is taking a strange route, seems lost, or is making sudden stops--GET OUT!!! (The driver is usually assisting the thieves)
-Remember as many details as you can
-Stay calm and give them your valuables
-They will usually ask you for PIN number of any cards and max out the amount that can be pulled from ATMs, give them the number--you will get your money back from the bank or credit card company

If you have to take the bus:

-Be aware of pickpockets, it is always crowded on the bus