Collective taxis called publiques ply Port-au-Prince’s streets. Invariably beaten-up saloon cars, they’re recognizable from the red ribbon hanging from the front mirror and a license plate starting with T (for transport). Hail one as you would a taptap, and squeeze in with the other passengers. Fares are set at 25 gourdes (US$0.75). Like taptaps, publiques stick to set routes, so if your destination doesn’t suit the driver will refuse you, otherwise beckoning you in with what looks like a dismissive tilt of the head. If you get into an empty publique and the driver removes the red ribbon, he’s treating you as a private fare and will charge accordingly – up to US$20 if you’re going a long way. State clearly if you want to ride collectif and share the ride with others.
Publiques don’t tend to travel between Port-au-Prince and Pétionville, so hiring is often the best option. There are a couple of radio-taxi firms, especially useful if you’re out late: Nick’s Taxis (2257-777) and Taxi Rouge (3528-1112). Both charge around US$10 between downtown and Pétionville, or US$15 per hour.
Both Port-au-Prince and Pétionville have moto-taxis, if you’re up for weaving through the insane traffic. They cost around 30 gourdes (US$0.80) for short trips, with prices hiking steeply for long distances. The best place to find a moto-taxi is around a bus or taptap station.