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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Taxi Cabs Around The World


Horse drawn taxis had been used in Europe in the early 1800s. Australia adopted the use of them once cities were established. Motor vehicle taxis were introduced into Australia not long after they were put into service in Great Britain and Europe. In 1906, Sydney inaugurated motorised taxicabs, followed soon after by the other states including Queensland, in approximately, 1907. Taxis can also be Maxi taxis.

The progress through the years included many types of tourers from the 1910 era until the late 1920s, with British and American cars predominating.

Sedans were added during the late 1920s and included similar makes of vehicles. This was the case with all cars being imported into Australia until World War II began. The American cars proved more suitable to Australian motoring conditions especially for taxi work. General Motors Corporation built thousands in Australia, as did the other American companies including Ford Motor Company and Chrysler. Most are now the Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore and most Taxicabs run on LPG.

[edit] China

Taxicabs at Shanghai.

In China, taxicabs are very common throughout the country. Most of cities choose the Volkswagen Jetta (2nd generation) as the taxicab. In metropolises, such as Shanghai, the Volkswagen Santana series are used extensively for taxicab services. The Hyundai Elantra and Hyundai Sonata are easy to find in Beijing.

Even in very small villages, there will be cars for hire. In smaller towns and villages, taxicabs are generally unregulated and may consist of a bike with a carriage, or more commonly, motorcycles with extensions that allow three people to sit in the rear. Even in large cities, taxicabs are generally very lax forms of transportation. Taxicabs may refuse to go to any destination, no matter what the distance. Relative to the west, taxicabs are very cheap, and in smaller areas the fare may be 1 yuan per person.

[edit] France

The first horse-drawn forerunners of taxis appeared on Parisian streets in 1637. France was one of the first countries to use modern taxis—that is, gasoline-powered vehicles with fare meters. New York's first taxis were imported from France in 1907, and taxis were famously used for troop transportation during the First Battle of the Marne. Today most taxis in France are Peugeot 406.

[edit] Germany

Taxicabs at Berlin-Tegel Airport.

In Germany, taxicabs are a light, pale yellow/beige (ivory-coloured, RAL number 1015) (since November 2005 in some jurisdictions the colour has not been compulsory anymore; before 1971 they were black), with a small illuminated cylinder-like "TAXI" sign on the roof of the car (on when available, off otherwise). Typically the taxicabs are Mercedes-Benz E-Class along with other, mainly German, brands. Taxicabs are either sedans, station wagons, or MPVs. Common station wagon taxicabs include Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Among the MPVs, Mercedes-Benz B-Class, and Mercedes-Benz Vianos are common. Most taxicabs are automatic transmission, and some have navigation systems on board. Rates are high; the convenience and high quality of public transportation in most German cities all but eliminates the necessity for German civilians to use taxicabs.

[edit] Hong Kong

During the early colonial times, sedan chairs were the only form of public conveyances. Public chairs were licensed, and charged according to tariffs which would be prominently displayed[1]. Chair stands were found at all hotels, wharves, and major crossroads. Their numbers peaked in about 1920[2].

Urban red taxicab in Hong Kong - Toyota Crown Comfort

The rickshaw, first imported from Japan in 1870, were a popular form of transport for many years, peaking at more than 7,000 in the early part of the 20th century[2]. The rickshaw and sedan chair vied for customers depending on their budget, haste, or terrain to be negotiated. The rickshaw was more rapid, but was not suited to climbing the steep terrain of Hong Kong Island[2].

Rickshaws' popularity waned after World War II. There were about eight in 1998[2], and only four left in 2002. The last Sedan chair was reportedly abandoned in 1965[2]; and the rickshaws have disappeared since the ferry's closure at the end of 2006.

The earliest modern taxi service was first officially recorded by the government in 1947 with 329 cars.[3]

In Hong Kong today, there are three types of taxis, painted in different colours, serving different parts of the territory. The most common one, which is painted in red. The red taxi serves throughout Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Green taxis serve the New Territories and blue taxis serve Lantau Island. Most taxis in Hong Kong are Toyota Comfort. Taxis pick up passengers from streets, or by radio-dispatch by phone. Fares are charged according to the distance measured by meters. Surcharges include tolls, luggages and pets.

[edit] India

New models of taxis like the Mahindra Logan, Tata Indigo, Tata Indica and Toyota Corolla are commonly seen in metropolises in India

Taxicabs in India are mostly Premier Padmini or Hindustan Ambassador cars but newer ones are mostly Tata Indigo & Mahindra Logan (especially in the big cities). They have a yellow-black livery, and taxicab drivers paint many signs and slogans such as God is Great etc. Most of these cabs do not have an air conditioning system but there are numerous private taxi operators like "Cool Cab" are air-conditioning.The newer taxis are white, one of the many reasons why the expensive taxis have been dubbed White Taxis by the locals in cities.Taxis and all other commercial vehicles have a yellow number plate so charging taxes and toll in highways is easier for the officials.

Depending on the city/state, taxis can either be hailed or are hired from taxi-stands. In cities such as Bangalore, taxis need to be hired from taxi stands, whereas in cities like Kolkata and Mumbai, taxis can be hailed on the street. There are additional surcharges for luggage, late-night rides and toll taxes are to be paid by the passenger. Thanks to the booming economy but due to disparities in income many types of taxis have come up. For example in Delhi there are 5 types of taxi. Autorickshaws- which are the cheapest form of taxi-, Normal Taxis, Radio Cabs, White Taxis and Tourist Taxis. In posher areas like Noida and Gurgaon auto rickshaws are banned thus giving the taxis a monopoly.Chandigarh also has a well established system of modern radio cabs using cars like Tata Indigo/Indigo marina, Fiat Siena and Maruti Esteem.

By Government regulations all taxis are required to have a fare-meter installed. However, enforcement by authorities is lax and many cabs operate either without fare-meter or with defunct ones. In such cases, fare is decided by bargaining between the customer and the driver.

Taxis face stiff competition from auto rickshaws but in some cities, for example Mumbai, auto rickshaws are banned in the main city district, thus giving taxis a monopoly.

[edit] Indonesia

Taxicabs began to be popular in Jakarta from the early 1970s with cars such as the Datsun 220C, Holden Torana, and Toyota Corona. Smaller cars, for example the Toyota Corolla, and various types of Datsun, were also used from mid 1970s to late 1980s.

In the 1970s, taxicabs were in various colours, although at that time mostly yellow, and a major operator ran light blue taxicabs. The main vehicle replacement for most taxicab operators was in mid-1980s when they replaced their old fleet with Nissan Stanza 1.6 T11. With the exception of the popular light blue, all other operators had their Stanzas painted yellow.

Due to poor sales in the private car market, but good fuel economy and reliability, Holden Gemini diesel cars were used as taxicabs during the 1980s. The same happened to Nissan Sunnys and Ford Lasers from the late 1980s to late 1990s.

Since the colour of most reliable taxicab company in Jakarta is medium blue metallic (previously light blue), few other operators copied their colour, and even the shape of the roof sign. This could mislead someone when hail the taxicab on the street. Although most taxicabs are blue, there are also painted in any colour depends on the operators.

The new taxicabs in Jakarta are mostly Toyota Limo, which is a lower spec of Toyota Vios. Before the introduction of Limo in 2004, the most popular taxi was Toyota Soluna, which based on the 1995 Toyota Tercel. Currently many Solunas are still in operation alongside the Limo. However, the use of subcompact cars in normal taxicabs will stop, and will be used for cheaper taxicabs. Other cars also used as taxicabs are Hyundai Excel, and Kia Rio. Only one operator runs the Nissan Sunny 1.6 Neo.

Taxicab in Jakarta city - Toyota Limo NCP42

There are also executive taxicabs; these are black Nissan Cedric Y31 and Toyota Crown Comfort, and recently a W203 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, a W211 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, a Toyota Alphard and a Hyundai Sonata.

With the launch of new Toyota Limo NCP93 in 2007, three generations of Toyota's small sedan are used for taxicab services in Indonesia. However, in the executive taxicab segment, only few Toyota Crown Comfort. In 2007, the executive fleet swa the arrival of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, followed by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Toyota Alphard in 2009. The maxi cab has added the Volkswagen Caravelle to its fleet, and soon the Hyundai Starex.

[edit] Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland, the term taxi is reserved for vehicles that may pick up on streets and where the fare is determined by a meter. In 2006 there were over 16,000 taxis in the Republic, the majority in Dublin. Taxi vehicles do not have to be a particular colour but all carry a distinctive roofsign with the licence number prominently displayed, some with the Irish word TACSAÍ instead of the usual "TAXI". A wide range of vehicles are used, typically medium-sized saloons, such as a Toyota Corolla. Second-hand grey imported cars from Japan are often popular with taxi drivers, such as the Toyota Camry and Toyota Ipsum. Some wheelchair accessible taxis are available, typically using a small van such as a Fiat Scudo. In September 2006 a nationwide taxi fare system was introduced so that charges no longer depend on the county or city council area.

The term hackney is used in Ireland to refer to a service which can only carry passengers from a pre-booked destination (or the hackney company's office) to another destination, similar to a minicab in Britain. Such vehicles are indicated by a small yellow plate above the registration plate with the word Hackney and the licence information. They normally operate for an agreed fare.

Both taxis and hackneys are licenced by the Commission for Taxi Regulation.[4]

There is an interesting site,written by a Dublin Taxi driver Irish Taxi which gives regular updates on what's happening in the Irish Taxi business (currently quite volatile : August 2008)

[edit] Israel

Israeli white taxis ply the noontime streets of downtown Jerusalem.

There are two taxi systems in Israel, with one operating in service to Israelis and one operating in service to Arabs. Each taxi system is restricted in terms of the locations and passengers they may serve, and can be distinguished by the colour of their cabs, with the former being white and the latter being orange. Although fares are officially meter-based, it is quite uncommon to have the meter run and the vast majority of trip fares are conditionally presented by the drivers and either summarily accepted, negotiated or denied by the traveler. Share taxis are also a very popular form of transport.

[edit] Japan

Taxicabs at Sendai Sta. parked in the taxipool.

In most part of Japan, there are many taxicabs of various colors. Japan has no limitation in taxi's design so every companies adopt their own design to taxicabs, but owner-driver taxicabs use prescribed design. In Osaka, most taxicabs are black because they also used as limousine taxis.

Most Japanese taxis are one of three types of cars: a Toyota Comfort type (Toyota Crown Comfort, Toyota Comfort, Toyota Crown Sedan); Nissan Crew; and Nissan Cedric Y31. They all have automatic passenger doors, which open at when a button is pressed by the driver. However, elite taxis may have drivers that manually open the door for you.

Recently, some taxi companies have selected Toyota Crown S170 and/or S180 as taxis because cars made for use as taxis (such as Comfort, Crew and Cedric) have very plain interiors.

[edit] Malaysia

Proton Iswara taxis, Kuala Lumpur.jpg

Most taxicabs use their preferred car of choice, the Proton Saga Iswara saloon since the 1990s.

[edit] Mexico

It is common for Mexican taxicab drivers to heavily customize their vehicles

In Mexico City, according to Mexican legislation introduced in 2001, public taxicabs (in contrast with private taxicabs, or 'taxis de sitio') must be 4-door, painted in red with a white roof, and almost all new taxis are Nissan Tsurus. Before 2001 most taxicabs were green Volkswagen Beetles with a white roof. They had the front-left seat[clarification needed] removed in order to ease entry for passengers. At the moment, the taxi population is in a transition period, with both types in use.[5]

Originally taxis were yellow with a white roof, until they were changed in the mid-'90s (allegedly because yellow was the official colour of the Partido de la Revolución Democrática, which at the time was competing for the newly-created Mexican District gobernancy with the Partido Revolucionario Institucional, which is mostly identified with green colour; officially it was to identify green taxicabs as environmentally-friendly 'ecológicos', even though they were the same polluting Volkswagen Beetles[citation needed]). As in most of the world a special license must be obtained in order to run a taxicab. However, since some years ago there is a thriving population of unlicensed taxicabs roving the streets of Mexico City. This 'taxis piratas' (pirate taxicabs) are painted in the same fashion as a licensed taxicab, and are allowed to operate due to the corruption of the police force or legal loopholes[6]. The Ministry of Road and Transportation of the Federal District has published a guide to help differentiate between licensed and unlicensed taxicabs.[7]. The services of pirate taxicabs, besides being more expensive and prone to abuse users (especially tourists) due to the lack of certification of taximeters and consequent alteration by the operators, are generally insecure because the driver lacks identification and operates beyond the law. Every year thousands of robberies, assaults, rapes, kidnappings and even murders occur on pirate taxis[8][9]. Care should be taken to avoid them at all times and study the official guidelines easing identification of potentially dangerous unlicensed taxicabs. A possible alternative is using 'radio taxis' (radio taxis, called over the phone) or 'taxis de sitio' (base taxis) as although more expensive they are more secure due to the fact that they are registered at a specified address and can always be identified, not to mention pricing and rates are always fixed before boarding avoiding potential misunderstandings or scam attempts.

[edit] Norway

Taxicabs are usually distinguished by various small company logo stickers on bonnet and doors and an illuminated Taxi sign on the roof. In Norway there is no particular colour for taxicabs though various shades of black and silver are the most popular choices of colour.

Many taxicabs are Mercedes E-class (usually E-220 CDI) or Volvo V70 Estate. These cars are almost always equipped with diesel engines, automatic transmission, satellite navigation and high quality trim levels.

[edit] Oman

Taxicabs in Oman are usually yellow models of Toyota or Nissan. They do not have any meters installed. Fare is generally decided by bargaining with the driver, though most commuters have a good idea of what can be considered a reasonable price. The rider may choose to have the taxi "shared," or "engaged." In an engaged taxi, the driver will not take any more passenger (as opposed to a shared taxi). Usually drivers charge much more to have the taxi engaged, sometimes as much as 8-10 times the price of a shared taxi. In a shared taxi, the driver will usually get more people who need to go along the same way. Due to low costs of fuel and fairly high purchasing power parity in Oman, taxicabs are extremely cheap when compared to other parts of the world, even in the engaged mode.

A variation of the shared taxi also exists. These are usually 12-seater Toyota vans. These taxis ply along a fixed route, stopping mostly at bus stops to pick and drop passengers. Passengers usually hop onto the taxi that is headed towards their destination. To attract more passengers, taxis stick to highways and main roads. If one wishes to go towards a place not along the main road, it is generally more economical to use a shared van to commute between two bus stops, and then switch over to another taxi headed for the destination, as opposed to taking the regular taxi to commute between the 2 places.

[edit] Philippines

A Nissan Sentra taxicab.

Taxicabs in the Philippines are almost always white. They used to be yellow, like in New York. In metropolitan Manila, some cab companies use bicolour configurations to help distinguish their cars from other companies. Many taxis here are 7th, 8th and a few 9th generation Toyota Corollas, though Mitsubishi Lancers, Nissan Sentras and 6th Generation Mazda Familias can also be found. Toyota Tamaraws also serve as Manila's famous "FX taxis", albeit in more of a shuttle form serving certain routes, much like jeepneys. The Toyota Avanza and Toyota Vios are also being seen in taxi use lately. Before them, Isuzu Gemini was used there. The popular Honda Civics cannot be used as taxis due to a stipulation in the buyer's contract preventing their use as such.[citation needed] In Baguio City, cabs are mainly Kia Prides and Toyota Revos. Taxis are mainly used also at Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Cebu City, Cagayan De Oro, and Davao City. Davao City is the only city in the Philippines that utilizes Chevrolets as taxis, in the Maligaya Taxi fleet.[citation needed]

[edit] Russia

Regulated 'official' taxicabs, identifiable by their yellow livery, are relatively few in Moscow, but since any car can be used as a taxi[10]. There is a long tradition of so-called (in English) 'gypsy-cabs' that comprise most of the City's fleet.[11] These are private motorists, typically in Lada 1300s or similar vehicles, who will pick up passengers in the street. For some drivers gypsy-cab work is their main source of income, whereas many others will cruise around after finishing their day jobs. Some Muscovites who are not driving specifically for hire will nevertheless pick up paying passengers travelling in the direction of their own destination.

Gypsy-cabs can be hailed quickly in central Moscow by stepping up to the kerb and raising a hand.[12] Driver and passenger will negotiate a price through the front window;[10] though occasionally the driver does not wish to go to the requested destination or the passenger and driver cannot agree a mutually acceptable price, in which case the car may leave and the passenger is able to try his luck with another one.

A Russian Maybach taxi.

While there is obviously a risk of crime in getting into a stranger's car in any city, using gypsy-cabs in Moscow is seen as relatively safe though the British Embassy in the city officially discourages the practice.[13]

In contrast to taxicabs, pre-booked private-hire vehicles are readily available in Moscow on a conventional commercial basis.

Traditional cabs in the western sense are becoming more and more common, but remain very expensive in comparison to the gypsy cabs.

In Russia there also exists a 'luxury' taxi service where taxis are Maybachs and TechArt Magnums (tuned Porsche Cayennes).

[edit] Singapore

A London taxicab at Raffles Place, Singapore. Along with various premium vehicles, such as the Mercedes-Benz taxicabs, they charge premium booking rates.

Total fleet: 24,022[14] (April 2008)

All taxicabs are fitted with meters and air conditioning; about 90% of taxis have radiophones[citation needed]; call booking is done through GPS or digital voice dispatch

In the mid-1960s, the first taxicab company had their vehicles painted black with a yellow roof top. The model was a Mercedes Benz 220S, followed by the Austin Cambridge A60 which lasted till the mid-1970s. By then, the most popular taxicabs in Singapore were painted pale light blue. From the early 1990s many new taxis had new liveries, and the biggest taxicab company ComfortDelGro repainted its taxis in dark blue colour with a new logo.

Early examples used the Volga Gaz 24, Isuzu Florian and Morris Marina which were replaced by the Nissan Cedric (Datsun 220C Diesel), the most common taxicab model in the 1970s and 1980s but the Toyota Crown Diesel is the most popular taxi since the mid-1980s until today[citation needed]. The smaller Toyota Corona CT191 marked the late 1980s to mid 1990s era.

Currently cars commonly used as taxicabs in Singapore are the Nissan Cedric Y31, Toyota Crown Diesel LS150, and LTI TX1 taxicab. In the mid 90s, Mercedes-Benz E-Class cabs were introduced as a premium service catered to the airport & hotels. Mercedes-Benz V-Class dubbed 'Maxicabs' followed soon after to cater to those who has greater demands or for private event limousine bookings. With a law passed instating the use of the Euro IV-compliant diesels in October 2006, some taxicab companies switched to alternative models. Singapore taxis had used various models recently. Notably LPG models, which are increasingly popular due to government campaign for extensive use of locally-manufactured LPG, such as Toyota Corolla Fielder, Honda Airwave, Volvo V70 Bi-Fuel though diesel examples, which still proved economical to run, like the Volkswagen Touran, Skoda Superb, Ssangyong Stavic, Kia Magentis, and the Hyundai Sonata & European-built Toyota Corolla are imported. The whole cab fleet in operation predominantly consisted of 4-door saloon models with the more practical estate versions (Corolla Fielder, Airwave, V70) being the latest addition.

[edit] South Korea

There is an extensive taxicab system, with more than 2,000 'corporate' taxicabs and 4,000 'ordinary' taxicabs in Seoul. All together there are about 9,000 taxis in the whole of the country.[citation needed]

In cities such as Seoul and Busan, taxicabs are very common. There are three types: an "ordinary" (ilban;일반) taxi; a "model" (mobum;모범) taxicab, which is painted black and is bigger and much more expensive; and a 'taxicab for the handicapped' (jang-e-incalltaxi; 장애인콜택시), which is a yellow painted van for the handicapped people who are living around Seoul. There are also two types of taxicab drivers' license: all taxicab drivers start driving their taxicab as employees in the taxicab companies, and these taxicabs that belong to a company are called 'corporate' (bubin;법인) taxicabs. After years of service in the taxicab company, drivers get a license which allows them to purchase their own vehicle and drive it as a self-employed driver, and the taxicabs they then drive are called 'individual' (gaein;개인) taxicabs.

For 'ordinary' taxicabs, there is an extra 20% increase in fare after midnight, but this does not apply to the 'model' taxis. Most 'ordinary' taxis are silver or white in colour. Virtually all Korean taxicabs are Korean car models, and meter fares start at 2,400 South Korean won. The fares are much cheaper than in major cities in Europe and North America, and no extra fares are charged for luggage. All taxicabs are labelled in Korean with a sign 'individual' (개인), 'model' (모범), or the name of the company if the taxicab belongs to a taxicab company, and have a half-sphere on top of a half-pyramid attached on the roof and labelled "TAXI".

In the 1970s and 1980s most taxicabs in South Korea were three Hyundai models—the Hyundai Pony, Hyundai Presto and Hyundai Stellar. Daewoo Prince was a very popular taxi model in the 1990s. Nowadays most taxicabs are normal sedans such as Hyundai Sonata, Kia Lotze, and Samsung SM5.

[edit] Spain

Taxicab at Barcelona

In Spanish cities and large towns, taxicabs always have a meter, but there are smaller towns where they don't carry one and the fare is agreed. The models that can be used must be homologated previously for this function by the local authorities, and they are always four-door sedans or minivans. By far the most popular car models for taxicab duties, all around Spain, are the SEAT Toledo and the Škoda Octavia; other models that can also be found frequently are the Peugeot 406, Citroën C5, Opel Vectra, SEAT Altea XL, Toyota Avensis, Volkswagen Jetta, some Mercedes-Benz E-Class, etc.

Regarding the livery, each town and city designates the colour of their taxis, but in the overwhelming majority, it is white, usually with some kind of colour detail and/or local symbol on the doors. For example, in Madrid (and also in Almería), taxicabs are white with a red diagonal stripe going through the front doors; in Seville, they are white with a diagonal yellow stripe down the rear doors; in Bilbao, white with a horizontal red stripe on the front doors, etc. A notable exception is Barcelona, where taxicabs are fully black, except the doors and the boot lid, which are painted yellow.

[edit] Sweden

In Sweden most taxis are painted black or dark blue. The cars used are mostly upmarket estates such as the Volvo V70 and the Mercedes-Benz E-class. License plates on Swedish registered Taxis are yellow and all end with a "T" in a slightly smaller size than the other characters on the license plate.

[edit] Taiwan

Taiwanese Prohibitory Sign P7: No Taxicabs Without Passengers.

Taxicabs in Taiwan are yellow, same color as New York taxi. The Road Traffic Security Rules (zh:道路交通安全規則) require drivers to be at least 20 years old and have occupational driver licenses. When drivers reach 60 years old, they may continue to drive taxis until 65 years old provided they pass annual physical examinations. Taxis in larger cities are widely metered with fares generally based on distances and now more commonly with surcharges for times in slow and stopped traffic. At Chinese New Year, the most important Taiwanese holiday, surcharges may also be payable.

There are many different car models used as taxis now, including Toyota Corolla, Camry; Nissan Sentra, Sylphy; Honda Civic; Mitsubishi Grunder (Taiwan version of American Mitsubishi Galant); Ford Focus and Mondeo etc.

Historically whenever major crimes have occurred, many people, especially women, have felt less confident riding taxis due to safety and security concerns, causing taxi drivers to carry even fewer passengers[citation needed]. After two major murders in late 1996, even Yao Kao-chiao (姚高橋), the Chief of the National Police Agency, Ministry of The Interior at that time, said that his daughter would not dare to ride taxis.[15] Many taxi drivers considered his speech impacting and discriminating against them.[16]

[edit] Thailand

Taxis are widely available in Bangkok and come in many different colours (because of different groups or companies). Most are metered. Passengers must also pay any highway tolls. Tourists should insist on the meter when entering the cab, otherwise prices charged will be several times higher.

The taxicabs in Bangkok are mostly Toyota Limo (a lower spec of Toyota Corolla Altis) and Toyota Corolla & Corolla Altis (8th, 9th and 10th generation). There are also the other cars including Mitsubishi Lancer (6th & 7th generation), Toyota Innova, Nissan Tiida sedan, Nissan Sunny (N16&B14), Chevrolet Optra, Suzuki APV and Thairung Adventure Sport 2WD (Thairung's MPV version of Isuzu D-Max).

The previously used cars including Toyota Corolla (5th,6th,7th and 8th generation), Toyota Corona (6th,7th,8th and 9th generation), Ford Laser, Mazda 323, Nissan Bluebird, Nissan Sentra (B13), Nissan Sunny (B14&B11), Mitsubishi Lancer (3rd,5th and 6th generation), Daewoo Espero, Daewoo Nubira and Daewoo Fantasy.

The colour of Bangkok taxi are in various colour including single-colour, bi-colour and single-colour with strip. The single-colour are a company taxi, personal taxi in cooperation or alliance and rental company taxi. These colour including bright green, bright sky blue, red, orange, yellow, blue, pink, purple, violet and tan. The bi-colour are in 3 kinds including yellow+green, red+blue and yellow+orange. The yellow+green are the personal private taxi. The red+blue are the rental taxi. The yellow+orange are the company taxi.

Outside Bangkok, metered taxis are not very common. Cars with drivers can be hired for longer trips, but for short trips around the towns, songthaews, tuk-tuks and motorcycle taxis are the common conveyances.

There are also taxi in Phuket, Chiang Mai, Samui, Nakhon Ratchasima and Chonburi using the similar cars as in Bangkok.

In Bangkok, there are also Airport-taxi known as AOT Limousine using various type of cars including Toyota Camry, Nissan Teana, Mercedes E-class (W211), BMW 730LI (E66), London Cab (TX II), Isuzu MU-7, Toyota Commuter (Hiace) and Nissan Urvan. These cars are in silver. The service is are pre-paid at the airport from the airport into town. The passenger can also call for a service from downtown to the airport.

[edit] United Kingdom

LTI Fairway in London
Barclays advertising on a Leeds taxi

There is a mature system of taxicabs throughout the United Kingdom. All taxicabs are regulated with various degrees of sophistication. However, London's black cabs, also known as hackney carriages, are particularly notable on account of the specially constructed vehicles and the extensive training course (The Knowledge) required for fully licensed drivers.

In Great Britain taxicabs can be defined thus -

  • Hackney carriages ('Black cabs') can be hailed in the street or hired from a taxicab rank. The term 'Hackney Carriage' can also be applied to standard passenger vehicles authorised by other Local Authorities to stop for passengers on a hail in the district. The fare is calculated on a taximeter that charges by both time and distance.

Additionally there are two further types of hire vehicles which act, sometimes illegally, as taxis; they are known as private hire vehicles -

  • Private hire is a term applied to a taxi that must be pre-booked, usually by telephone but also in some cases by fax, email or via in-car radio. Although not available on a hail, properly licensed private hire vehicles can offer a safe alternative to a 'Hackney Carriage'. The advantage of a private hire booking is that the journey is offered at a fixed price based only on mileage and not the variable time element of a taximeter found in a 'Hackney Carriage' unless the private hire vehicle is fitted with a taximeter in which case this meter must be used to calculate the fare. In many areas private hire and hackney vehicles have different coloured taxi licence plates; and also it is common that hackney carriages must be a certain colour (usually black, hence the term "black cab"), while private hire taxis may be any colour but that prescribed for hackneys.
  • Chauffeur cars are a sub-set of private hire and historically have been mostly unlicensed. However, regulations now require them to be licensed. In Scotland most chauffeur/executive car operators along with nearly all stretched limousines are not still not licensed & neither are their drivers. Generally a higher value of car such as a Mercedes or BMW is operated where the passenger pays a premium but in return receives a higher level of comfort and courtesy from the driver who may at times wear a uniform.

In Great Britain local authorities have the responsibility of regulating taxi & private hire vehicles together with their drivers. Licensed vehicles will normally have an ID plate at the rear & sometimes also at the front holding information such as the licence number, expiry date & how many passengers it can carry.

Luton is reported to have the highest number of taxicabs per head of population in the United Kingdom.[17]

[edit] United States and Canada

New York taxicab

Throughout the United States (and Canada) there is a mature system of taxicabs. Most US and Canadian cities have a licensing scheme which restricts the number of taxicabs allowed. These are sometimes called medallions or CPNC (Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience).

Often taxi businesses own their own cars, and the drivers are hired by the company as independent contractors. However, cabs can also be owned by separately-incorporated small businesses that subscribe to a dispatch service, in which case the company logo on the door is that of the dispatch association.

A suburban taxi company may operate under several different names serving several adjacent towns. They often provide different phone numbers for each fleet, but they usually all ring into a central dispatch office. They may have subsidiary taxi businesses holding medallions in each town. Taxi companies also may run multiple businesses, such as non-medallion car services, delivery services, and school buses, for additional revenue, as the infrastructure required for maintaining, operating and dispatching the fleet can be shared.

[edit] Uruguay

In Uruguay taxicabs are always called 'taxis' and not 'cabs'. In Uruguay's capital Montevideo the colours of the taxis are yellow, with black roofs. Licensing is a central government function.

[edit] Venezuela

In Venezuela taxis are mostly white with the exception of luxury ones usually found on airports and luxury hotels, which are black. In Venezuela there is not such thing as a taximeter, nor any other way to know the fare. Due to this, it is common to discuss with the driver the fare before getting inside the cab. They tend to mislead turist when coming to the country (especially Caracas) because the city doesn't have a numerical system for the street, building nor houses, making almost impossible to navegate thru the city with just a map.


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