In an effort to make foreigners feel even more welcome, Kyoto City has started a new taxi service for visitors. The service commenced on 1 March 2016 in Kyoto for a one year trial. As of 18 April there are now 2 taxi ranks at Kyoto Station. The drivers have all undergone language training and customer service training.
There has been a tendency for taxi drivers to avoid picking up foreign visitors for fear of having communication difficulties, this new service addresses the matter and hopes to enhance the overall experience of visitors to the city.
The trial is being jointly organized by Kyoto city, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and other bodies.
Two taxi stands for the cabs have now been set up at JR Kyoto Station A total of 69 taxis and 87 drivers from 23 cab operators will operate the service through to March 2017.
The “foreigner-friendly taxis” cost the same as usual taxis, accept credit cards, have ample space for two large suitcases and drivers who are able to communicate in a variety of languages such as English and Chinese. Japanese nationals who are travelling to Kyoto with luggage may also take advantage of this service as it is not strictly restricted to foreigners only.