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Reimbursing taxi fare

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in my experience that part is not reimbursed. It's generally not a door-to-door type of reimbursement. I was responsible for getting to the airport, but once there it was paid for. My ride to and from the airport (in my "home" town) was not. 


I got around paying exorbitant taxi fares (I'm 1.5 hours away from the airport) by getting rides from a friend who travelled a lot. We traded rides so the next time he went out of town I drove him to the airport and back. 

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It probably does depend on the school, but just to provide a different experience, I have always gotten taxi expenses reimbursed. I didn't live in a hub city for my MSc, so the nearest Hub airport was ~3-4 hours away ($120 bus fare roundtrip) or a connecting flight ($400 roundtrip). I always took the bus, but it usually leaves at 2am so I always took a taxi to the bus terminal ($10). Taxi receipts are tricky to get but luckily, most schools are willing to reimburse small expenses without receipts. I always get reimbursed for the taxi, bus fare, and whatever shuttle I might have to take on the other end. I also get reimbursed for meals I have to eat at the airport (due to connecting buses and planes, usually my travel days were 16-20 hours long with up to 4 hours waiting around at an airport!).


Of course, I try to minimize these expenses whenever possible (which is part of the reason why I take the 2am bus so I can catch the early morning cheaper flight) so a friend or my wife drives me to the bus terminal when possible. However, in one case where my supervisor and I drove ourselves to the airport (for a conference we went to together), the distance driven was claimed as an expense. When I drove to visit a university that was ~5 hours away, I was reimbursed at a rate of ~50 cents per mile (to cover depreciation of vehicle due to use, gas, etc.).


This experience was common to many universities, American, Canadian, private, public, well-funded, and not-so-well-funded. Generally, whenever I travel for "school/work" related business (including grad school visits), the only out of pocket expense I have are gratuities and alcohol (many schools/federal funding agencies won't cover this) or non-work related things (e.g. staying an extra day, doing touristy things etc.). 


The only case where travel funding was tricky was when I visited two schools, A and B in one trip. I flew from home to A to B then back home and was trying to split the cost evenly (as per the school's request). However, School A's policies did not allow them to pay for any travel that did not take place in School A's city or my hometown (e.g. airport shuttle from Airport B to School B.) So I was not able to just divide all the expenses in 2. School B is able to pay for the shuttle between Airport B and School B though, so it was just a matter of working with the financial admin staff to claim things at the correct school in order to cover all costs fairly.


So, unless you know your school's policy is to not allow taxi fare reimbursement, I would ask about it. In my experience, they are very good at reimbursing you as much as possible, as long the expense is not explicitly forbidden by the school's policies. I think that the department's admin staff are the most important people to have on your side at any school, they are the ones that get stuff done!

Edited by TakeruK
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