Dakar - Post Report Question and Answers

Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Taxis are affordable and safe, but some are very old. It’s good to take the numbers of reliable drivers with good cars. Some local buses are very old and overcrowded, but the Dakar Dem Dik city buses are nice and air-conditioned. The U.S. Embassy discouraged using anything but taxis, though. - Jul 2020

Taxis are cheap and easy to find. There is a bus system, of sorts, but I don’t know anyone who takes it. No trains or trams, though they are building a high-speed train from downtown to the airport. You could get by without a car, but it would be somewhat limiting. - Dec 2019

Taxis, yes. Nothing else is advised. - Dec 2018

Do not take local transportation, maybe a taxi but that's it. I feel like the taxis will try and take advantage of you if you let them. Always negotiate price before entering, and if you aren't happy, go on to the next. Taxis galore here. They smell, are dirty and falling apart; duct tape holding on doors, no brake lights. The do not seem to look where they are going, so always watch where you walk. - Dec 2018

Affordable - yes. Safe - sometimes. Taxis are easy, they're cheap and it's just a matter of finding one with working brakes, seat belts, doors, etc. No trains, and the buses are scary. - Jun 2017

Taxis are fine. Agree on a price before getting in. - Apr 2016

Local buses are off limits. Taxis are cheap. I wouldn't say they are safe - accidents are frequent - but you aren't likely to be robbed. - Aug 2015

Taxis are ok to use, though you must negotiate the price before you get in (no meters). It is not safe to take the brightly colored buses called Car Rapides. Pick-pocketing is a major concern on those. I don't know of anyone who used the local bus system. - Aug 2014

Taxis are available, not necessarily safe (falling apart, drivers who drink and do drugs), totally unregulated, no meters. However, some are ok, and you have to pay attention when picking them. If you speak Wolof a bit, you can get a good price. There are buses, they are ok but overcrowded; most expats don't use them. Trains look like they are from the 1940s. Skip them. - Apr 2014

Taxis generally cost $3-8 to get anywhere in town after negotiation. Most of them are literally held together with string and tape and give you a good dose of exhaust fumes. - Jun 2013

Yes to all. Taxis are usually never more than $6. - Mar 2013

No trains. Most expats other than Peace Corps people don't take buses. Taxis are affordable but are in terrible condition. Negotiate the price before you go anywhere. Most rides go for $2-$6. - Oct 2012

Local busses are crowded and unsafe. Taxis are prevalent, but often in very poor repair (spewing black smoke, shattered windshields, no seat belts) and driven by someone who never went to drivers ed. Prices must be negotiated before entering the cab. There are no meters. - Mar 2012

Taxis are cheap, though with everything you have to bargain. Non-Senegalese pay a premium but it is still cheap. However the quality of the ride is something to be desired. You are lucky if the car seat still has its springs in and doesn't jab you in the bottom as you fly over the speed bumps or the potholes in the road. If the taxi door closes, great - at least you won't fall out but you may not be able to open the door to get out either. - Aug 2011

Taxis are everywhere and generally safe (though many are in horrible repair). The price MUST be negotiated before getting in the cab - no meters. You can get almost anywhere for 2-4K cfa (4-8 USD). The touba buses are NOT safe and should not be used - Jan 2011

Taxi are affordable and safe. - Feb 2010

Taxis are safe and affordable - but be warned taxi drivers don't know French very well. And sometimes they will let you get into the car without really understanding where you want to go. - Feb 2010

No safe train. Local buses are not practical except to go on a straight line. Taxis are everywhere, some look like a garbage, some are brand new (same price!). Airport to downtown is no more than $10. - Jan 2010

Taxis, yes. Affordable. Buses are crowded. - May 2009

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