In Chicago, like any big city, taxis are in demand. Despite this, you will find that it is much easier to grab a cab in Chicago than most cities. There are lots of cabs but they do tend to focus on the more popular neighborhoods. If you are off the beaten track a little you may wish to either call for a cab or walk to the nearest large intersection.
The minimum fare for any journey is $2.25, then for for every 1/9 of a mile travelled it is $0.20. For the first additional adult passenger there is a $1.00 charge and any additional adult is $0.50. In addition, for every 30 seconds of time not spent moving the meter adds $0.20. You are responsible for any tolls. Rides originating or terminating at O'Hare or Midway airports are assessed an additional $1.00 fee. It is not permitted to charge for baggage.
You as a passenger have the right to specify the route that the driver takes. It is also your right to ask the driver to change the vehicles temperature and radio volume. Drivers are not allowed to use their mobile phones while driving, even if following the state's law requiring hands-free devices. Tipping is, of course, optional. A rate of 7.5% is considered fair.
The City of Chicago requires that all non-independent taxis accept credit cards.
(almost all cabs in the city are affiliated) However, when trying to pay with a credit card it is not uncommon for the driver to say something like "Sorry the machine is down," especially if they believe that you may be a tourist. It is however, considered polite and fair, as it does cost them to process the card, to pay in cash for short (ie. less than 15$) trips. If you can only pay with credit consider adding a dollar or two to the tip.
If you have a problem with any Taxi in Chicago demand a receipt which will show the Driver's company, name, number, as well as the date, time, and places of your trip. Then you can call city services by dialling 311 from any land line in the city and file a complaint.
In addition to all o fthe above, keep receipts, record the taxi number (in Chicago the taxi number and the license plate are the same 4 digit number), and watch your account diligently for fraudelent activity. It is quite common (3 times in 2 years for this resident) to have a taxi driver use your card number to quickly drain the account whether immediately or spread out over a short period of time. Be aware, pay in cash whenever possible and only use a card if you must.