Hail the Iconic Taxi!
taxis need to be insured! Check for UK taxi insurance
Classic and an iconic American image,
yellow checkered taxi cabs have sped forth as the
predominant picture of modern day busy-city travel. Cemented
to memory, this image resonates through the studios of
Hollywood, coming forth into many homes around the world as
one of the ultimate modes of transportation. The taxi cab
however, evolved from much more humble beginnings, gradually
developing in to the street savvy instrument of today.
Interestingly, the taxi cab began taking shape in the
history pages of Ancient Rome, where taximeters, or
technological devices used to determine fare, were employed
on horse carts. The taximeter, attached to a cart's axle,
released small balls. Upon arrival, the number of balls
deployed depicted the amount owed to the driver. Horse drawn
Hackney services also began in Paris in 1640, and continued
to spread across the globe in large cities such as London,
and by the 1800s, Toronto.
The 1890's brought forth the invention of the automobile.
This new means of transportation made it's way into the
realm of the taxi, eventually leading to a total short of
100 taxis in New York City before the year 1900. However,
the electric taxicab found itself to be somewhat
impractical, the battery alone weighing in at almost 800
By the early 1900's the taxi had again evolved, and the New
York Taxicab Company boldly purchased 600 green-and-red
paneled french cabs. The car had also transformed from an
electric run vehicle to gas-powered. Upkeep on these taxis
was fairly easy and rapidly gained popularity throughout the
teens. However, at 50 cents per mile, riders were typically
wealthy, upper class citizens.
The Checker Cab Company became the largest taxicab service
in New York City by the 1920s. With the Great Depression in
1929, cab drivers began reaching for every fare possible in
order to survive. Underpaid, cab drivers of New York City
went on strike in 1934, and by 1937 the Haas Act was signed,
ensuring better paid drivers, better vehicle conditions for
both passenger and driver, and a promise that riders could
not be overcharged.
A whopping 12,000 taxis were serving New York City by 1950.
This would also be another turning point for the taxi
service, as the city demanded all taxis be painted yellow, a
color easily spotted for those needing to catch a quick
In the 70s and 80s, bulletproof partitions were employed by
many cab companies as crimes against drivers skyrocketed.
The immigration wave that had once made cab drivers out of
Italians, Irish, and Jewish citizens, made South Asian cab
drivers by the 90s.
More than 12,100 taxicabs and 40,000 reside within the
confines of New York City today. With the evolution of the
taxi cab and its services, the SUV and mini-van join the
taxi alliance, providing 24-hour travel access to
inhabitants. While the taxi continues to evolve, one thing
is for certain: the taxicab will continue to take passengers
almost anywhere they need to go.