To our Conventioneers! 

   drivers serve the Orange County Convention Center and the International Drive Hotels completely. The same efficient and fast service prevails as it does for any taxi trips out of the Orlando International Airport.  Over the years we (the taxi drivers) have noticed a trend that we feel is alarming and feel like we should point the problem out to you.

Many conventioneers who come to Orlando for their conventions have been briefed about how to get out of the airport to their hotels.  It has been shocking to us, as we talk to some conventioneers who ride in our taxis, how little is known about the taxi service to International Drive (The location of most convention hotels).  The taxi service is ready and more able to give weary travelers a faster and economical ride to their destination than any other competitor in the Orlando transportation market.  Here are a few tips that might help to finalize the argument on how to get to International Drive after arriving at Orlando International Airport.

 There may be times when the many employees in your office plan to attend the same convention.  If that is the case, travel arrangements can be made ahead of time by calling any of the drivers listed at this web site.  Notice that there are sedans, which can carry four adults comfortably and vans that carry up to nine passengers.  If you telephone the driver in advance the driver will gladly meet you at the escalator at Orlando International Airport and help you get to your destination.  If you didn't call ahead you can  just gather your group together and go down to the first floor and catch a taxi (Sedan or Van). The taxis on the first floor at Orlando International Airport will be the same taxi companies listed on this site, however, because of shift, day-off problems, or personal preference the drivers may or may not advertise on this web site.  

Taking a taxi can by-pass the waiting you will have to do if you plan to take any of the shuttles. Shuttles include all the bus companies leaving out of the airport.  A taxi gets you to your International Drive hotel in approximately 20 minutes, with no waiting time for a taxi, compared to 1 to 2 hours you might travel on a shuttle during busy periods.  Let's face it, by the time you get in line, buy your tickets, walk down to the loading areas, wait to load your shuttle and get going you have thrown away at least one-half an hour or probably closer to one hour.  This past February 2000, when the PGA convention was held, people waited over an hour to get on their way to International Drive.  After the wait you hope you only have the ride left to go, 20 to 30 minutes, and that short period would only be if you will be the first off the shuttle. You’ll wait longer as each shuttle stop is made. Folks, it really is a frustrating nightmare.

Now lets look at the money that is paid. (your money).  A group of nine will pay approximately $100.00 or somewhere around $10.00 to $15.00 per person if you travel by shuttle or reserved bus.  Nine conventioneers traveling by taxi will pay approximately $3.00 per person.  Sounds unreal doesn't it.  It IS for real because one-way metered taxi rides in a taxi van or sedan to the International Drive hotels is approximately $25.00 (give or take a few dollars).  If you ride with only two people you come out even and come out on the plus side when you consider the time. Take a copy of this report to your convention planners and let them look this page and the Taxi/Shuttle/Bus comparison over. We know they will agree. (See also our Taxi Bus/Shuttle Comparison)

If you come into the airport and meet friends going to the same convention you could ride with them in a taxi and discuss the convention or other Orlando attractions.  It doesn't matter what hotel or whether you are going too different hotels.  If a group has agreed to ride together tell the taxi starter your situation and he will put you in the same taxi.  Just keep one thing in mind.  The taxi drivers time is valuable and if you have two or three stops for the taxi, let the driver know of the number of stops and that you will take care of the driver for the extra time.  It is recommended and customary that for each extra stop you give the driver an extra $5.00. Keep in mind the hotels should be reasonably close for this to not cause any hard feelings.

One other consideration you might give to your convention trip to Orlando.  Everyone likes to have a car, which they can use, and rental cars are very popular here in Orlando.  There are major problems involved when you  rent a car to go to International Drive.  Firstly, getting out of the airport seems to be a big problem for the rental car customers.  The major companies are located 4 - 6 miles off the airport property.  If you like traveling with crowds and getting your car with crowds than maybe that’s your personal preference. You are talking again about two hours before you get to your resort.  The hassle is a lot to put up with when you are going to use the car to get to the resort, take it to a few dinners, and than return it to the airport.  It would make more sense if you just grabbed a taxi, got to your resort in approximately 30 minutes, then rested or went to your meetings for the rest of the evening.

Another good consideration is the International Drive Trolley. With all the traffic this is probably the fast way around. Their route is North and South from Seaworld to Belz Factory outlet. The stops are clearly marked along International Drive. You can buy tickets for one week for $7.00 for one person and ride all day on their vehicles.

 Also consider this, traffic during big conventions is terrible on International Drive. The PGA convention of drew over 50,000 people causing the roads to be a parking lot during the entire time the convention was going on.  Most people could have walked from their hotels faster than they could have gotten there by car.  This may seem like a biased report but it seemed to us (the taxi drivers) that taxis have the advantage in getting around because they know all the short cuts.

 If I had been a participant of that convention I know I would have sat back and let a professional taxi driver do the driving for me no matter where I went the entire week.  Most restaurants and meeting areas are so close that traveling by taxi while at a convention in Orlando is actually more economical compared to renting a car.

 The final tip we would like to point out is regarding the return trip back to the airport.  If you had gotten to International Drive by shuttle/bus you better plan to have them pick you up at least three hours in advance.  On busy check out days shuttles/busses seem to slow down or become non-existent when departure time comes around.  Shuttles and Buses are usually so busy picking up that a lot is to be desired on shuttle/bus returns to the airport.  On the other hand the taxis are sitting out on the stands waiting to take you and get you there in 20 - 30 minutes, no waiting.  Many of the taxi rides come from the shuttle/bus companies who cannot get to their customers on time. (Strange but true, and they arrived at the airport before their original ride).

 In conclusion, it just really gets down to the fact that there are a lot more plus's taxiing to the convention than any other form of transportation. 

 Well... if you’ve got this far then you have just got to be convinced so… hey… what have you got to loose, we challenge you to check us out.


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