If you only need to take a cab every once in a while -- such as when you're out of town -- then you know that riding a taxi is like spinning the roulette wheel. The fare will be anybody's guess. I've got a tool that takes the mystery out of your next cab ride by calculating the total charge and even estimating how long the ride will take.
One of Microsoft's collection of apps for Bing Maps, the Taxi Fare Calculator works in about 50 metropolitan areas at the moment -- most in the US, but with a few international locations as well. (Don't be fooled by the list of cities. Choose New York, for example, and you can get a fare estimate for a huge area around Manhattan, including deep into Jersey.)
I've already told you about the ever-growing set of apps for Bing Maps, but the Taxi Fare Calculator definitely rises to a new level of usefulness. Enter your start and end point, and you'll get a cost estimate broken down so you can see what you'll pay for the initial charge, travel time, and waiting time. It's a great way to avoid being surprised by the price tag on your next trip.