Taxis by country
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Taxicabs in a single country often share a set of common properties, but there is a wide variation from country to country in the vehicles used, the circumstances under which they may be hired and the regulatory regime to which these are subject.
Taxicabs are common in Egypt, particularly in the larger cities. The taxi system is highly decentralized, with the cab generally belonging to the driver and operated as a private business by him. Consequently, there is some variation in the types of cars used as taxis, although the Tofaş Şahin (including the licensed version produced by Nasr) and Hyundai Accent predominate. Drivers must obtain a taxi license from the government, generally through the offices of the Governorate in which they are based; however, taxis are permitted to operate between cities. Drivers must also paint their cars according to a livery unique to each governorate, including painting the license plate number of the cab on its doors in both Arabic and English. The traditional liveries of Cairo (black and white) and Alexandria (yellow and black) are well-known to all Egyptians and indeed across the Arab world from their appearance in Egyptian film and television.
Meters are technically required by Egyptian law, but they generally go unused and in many cases do not even work. The prime exception is in Cairo, where a new class of taxis with a different livery (white with a black checkered band around the middle) have electronic meters installed and used. In most other cases, the price of a journey is generally determined through negotiation or bargaining between the passenger and driver, either just after the cab is hailed or just after the destination is reached.
Many if not most Egyptian taxi drivers have some education and frequently work in white-collar professions that nevertheless come with low pay (generally low-level government work, including education); taxis are a common source of supplemental income for many Egyptian families. Consequently, taxi drivers are a common source of vox populi for foreign media sources.
In Eritrea all taxis are yellow. In the capital, Asmara, they are all new yellow Kia, Toyota, and Mercedes Benz. There are often five passenger seats. The taxis are owned by the same company all over Asmara. The taxi traffic starts slowing down after 9 pm in the northernmost part of the city's suburbs, but the inner city and southern side of the town have a lot of taxis. The taxis in Massawa are often large like minibusses, but are still taxis. They are also yellow.
Most taxis in Ghana have orange coloured wing panels. According to some observers, the vast majority of vehicles on the roads are taxis. Taxis either take a customer anywhere on a pre-negotiated fare, or pick up passengers for a fixed fare on a specific route.
Since 2014 the Moroccan taxi industry is living major changes. Historically the taxicabs were Mercedes. Since 2005 with the new touristic transport companies, taxis now can use other types of vehicles.
Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)
Taxicabs in the Republic of the Congo are almost exclusively Toyota, often old cars imported from Asia or Europe. In Brazzaville, taxis are green and white. In the second largest city in the country, Pointe-Noire, taxis are blue and white.
South Africa has two kinds of taxis, minibus taxis which are vehicles that seat fifteen, and meter cabs that seat between four and seven passengers. Minibus taxis and meter taxis are mostly Toyota-manufactured. Minibus taxis use the Toyota Ses'fikile (a modified Quantum/HiAce produced specifically to meet the regulatory requirements of the South African taxi market) and meter taxis Toyota Avanza. Minibus operate on specific routes like buses. Meter taxis cabs operate from point to point.
There are two taxi systems in Israel, with one operating as a standard taxi service and the other (taxi - sherut) as a cross between a taxi and a private bus system. The latter tends to run longer journeys or particular routes and is effectively a shared taxi – hence set pick-up and set-down locations, but also potentially picking up or dropping off anywhere en route. Although fares are officially meter-based, it is quite common to agree on the fare in advance with the driver. They have a directory guide for prices and will show the estimated alternative to the meter price, either to be accepted, negotiated or rejected by the traveler if the meter is preferred. The wisdom of the choice may be based on time of day and traffic and whether the passenger has bags, etc. which could cost more on the meter as each piece adds a set amount. Either way, the eventual fare is not usually significantly different so many Israelis choose the meter without a thought. Tipping is not required but rounding up is common.
Taxicabs in Oman are usually with orange panels and mostly Toyota or Nissan models. The number plate is red and starts with K, KA, KB (for saloons) and KK (for vans). They do not have any meters installed. The 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 passengers (as opposed to a shared taxi). Usually, drivers charge much more to have the taxi engaged, sometimes as much as eight to ten 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 up and drop off passengers. Passengers usually get into 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 two places.
Taxis in Bangladesh are generally Toyota Corolla (E160)s, Toyota Premios or Toyota Allions in yellow. Taxi fares generally start from 80 taka per kilometer. Almost all taxis now run on LPG as well as diesel.
Taxicabs are very common throughout China. Different vehicles are used throughout China due to various provinces and cities' taxi company choices. Formerly, commonly used taxi cars were the Volkswagen Santana, Citroën Fukang and Citroën Elysée.[unreliable source?] Following Shenzhen, many cities in China started using fleets of EV taxis, using vehicles such as the BYD e6.
Regulation require taxicab drivers working for ride hailing apps to have three years of experience, have a licence from a local taxi regulator and have no criminal record. Their vehicles cannot have over 600,000 kilometers on the odometer and are required to have GPS tracking.
Didi Chuxing is the largest ride hailing app in China; it mainly services larger cities. 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 in Shanghai may not refuse to go to any destination within the city. Relative to the west, taxicabs are very cheap, and in smaller areas, the fare may be 1 yuan per person.[original research?]
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. Chair stands were found at all hotels, wharves, and major crossroads. Their numbers peaked in about 1920.
The pulled rickshaw, first imported from Japan in 1870, was a popular form of transport for many years, peaking at more than 7,000 in the early part of the 20th century. 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.
Rickshaws' popularity waned after World War II. There were about eight in 1998, and only four left in 2002. The last sedan chair was reportedly abandoned in 1965; and the rickshaws have disappeared since the ferry's closure at the end of 2006.
In Hong Kong today, there are three types of taxis, painted in different colors, 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 light blue taxis serve Lantau Island. 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, luggage, and pets.
In India, taxicabs have a yellow-black livery. The newer taxis are white. Taxis and all other commercial vehicles have a yellow number plate so charging taxes and toll on highways are easier for the officials.
Depending on the city/state, taxis can either be hailed, booked through applications, or can be hired from taxi-stands. In cities such as Bangalore, taxis need to be hired from taxi stands or online, 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 five types of taxis. Auto rickshaws (most affordable), normal taxis, radio cabs, white taxis, and tourist taxis. In 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.
By government regulation, all taxis are required to have a fare meter installed. 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. This monopoly directly affects the kind of cars used in India as cabs as well as the kind of economical and transport conditions.
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 the mid-1970s to the late 1980s.
In the 1970s, taxicabs were in various colors, although at that time mostly yellow, and a major operator ran light blue taxicabs. The main vehicle replacement for most taxicab operators was in the mid-1980s when they replaced their old fleets 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 the late 1990s.
Since the color of the most reliable taxicab company in Jakarta is medium blue metallic (previously light blue), few other operators copied their color and even the shape of the roof sign. This could be misleading to people hailing the taxicab on the street. Although most taxicabs are blue, they are also painted in other colors, dependent on the operator.
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. The Solunas and the older variants of Limo are now used by cheaper taxicabs. Other cars also used as taxicabs are Hyundai Excel, Ford Laser, and Kia Rio. Only one operator ran the Nissan Sunny 1.6 Neo (N16) and later replaced by the newer Nissan cars; the Tiida Latio and the Almera. By 2014, the Nissan Almera (N17) is also commonly used for taxicabs ran by several operators. Honda Mobilio 7-seater is also used since 2015.
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, a Hyundai Sonata, and a Nissan Elgrand.
Since the Soluna and followed by the Vios-based Limo, Toyota's small sedans are used for regular taxicab services in Indonesia. However, in the executive taxicab segment, only a few Toyota Crown Comfort. In 2007, the executive fleet saw the arrival of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, followed by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Toyota Alphard in 2009. An executive taxicab operator has added the Volkswagen Caravelle to its fleet, and soon the Hyundai Starex.
In most parts of Japan, there are many taxicabs of various colors and styles. Japan has no limitation on taxicab design, so each taxicab company adopts its own design, although owner-driver taxicabs use a prescribed design. In Osaka, most taxicabs are black because they are also used as limousine taxis.
In the run up to the 2020 Summer Olympics, Toyota introduced their new Toyota JPN Taxi model to replace the ubiquitous Toyota Comfort. A hybrid vehicle, the JPN Taxi was developed to be environmentally conscious and more user friendly to otherwise abled individuals with a low, flat, wheelchair accessible floor, creating an iconic vehicle that embodies the spirit of Japanese hospitality and serves as iconic symbol for the country much like the London Taxi.
In Malaysia, taxicabs are also referred to as teksi. There are several taxi operators running within Malaysia. Most taxicabs use their preferred car of choice, the Proton Saga Iswara saloon since the 1990s, and a distinct fleet of cabs are the newer generation of Proton Saga since the 2010s.
Every taxicab in Singapore is fitted with meters. ComfortDelGro is the only company that has flat fare booking on the app itself, with a system limitation of one destination. Dynamic pricing was introduced in May 2019 through "ComfortRIDE". ComfortDelGro was the only one to use Uber until Uber's operations in Southeast Asia merged into Grab, where all other companies are still using it. ComfortDelGro also plans to tie up with Go-Jek.
In the mid-1960s, the first taxicab company had their vehicles painted black with a yellow rooftop. The model was a Mercedes Benz 220S, followed by the Austin Cambridge A60 which lasted until the mid-1970s. By then, the most popular taxicabs in Singapore were painted pale blue. From the early 1990s, many new taxis had new liveries, and the biggest taxicab company ComfortDelGro repainted its taxis in a dark blue color 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) and the Toyota Crown Diesel, which were the most common taxicab models in the 1970s and 1980s. The smaller Toyota Corona CT191 marked the late 1980s to mid-1990s era.
Currently, Hyundai Ioniq and Hyundai i40 make up most flagship taxis in Singapore. In the mid 1990s, Mercedes-Benz E-Class cabs were introduced as a premium service catering to the airport and hotels. The Mercedes-Benz V-Class, dubbed Maxicabs, followed soon after.
Most of the cabs are run by locals in their auto rickshaws.
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-in call taxi; 장애인콜택시), which is a yellow painted van for the handicapped people who are living around Seoul. There are also two types of taxicab drivers' licenses: 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 color. Virtually all South Korean taxicabs are South Korean car models, and meter fares start at 3,800 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 labeled 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, or to a lesser degree a silhouette of a traditional Korean gate attached on the roof and labeled "TAXI".
Taxicabs in Taiwan are yellow. 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 Lunar New Year, the most important Taiwanese holiday, surcharges may also be payable.
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. After two major murders in late 1996, Yao Kao-chiao, the director-general of the National Police Agency, said that his daughter would not dare to ride in taxis. Many taxi drivers considered his speech impacting and discriminating against them.
Taxis are widely available in Bangkok and come in many different colours (because of different groups or companies). Most are metered.
Bangkok taxis come in various colours, including single-colour, bi-colour and single-colour with strip. The single-colour taxis are a company taxi, personal taxi in cooperation or alliance, and rental company taxi. The colours include bright green, bright sky blue, red, orange, yellow, blue, pink, purple, violet and tan. There are three kinds of bi-colour taxis, including yellow and green, red and blue and yellow and orange. The yellow and green taxis are personal private taxis. The red and blue taxis are rental taxis. Yellow and orange are company taxis.
In Bangkok, there are also airport taxis known as AOT Limousine. These cars are in silver.
The regular Vietnamese taxi market is dominated by two firms, Mai Linh Group and Vinasun. Motorbike taxis, known as xe ôm, are also common. The main ride-hailing app operators are Grab and Go Viet, a subsidiary of Gojek. Unlicensed taxi drivers and transport services are known for soliciting customers rudely.
In Tirana, the capital city, taxis are all painted in yellow, with various signs on the roof. Official taxis have yellow plates with red text. The Albanian word is taksi, but most of the signs are in English. Lately,[when?] the law has required taxi drivers to buy cars that are less than 10 years old. 90% of taxicabs are private: there are only two companies operating and they only operate in Tirana. Apart from these two companies, very few drivers use taximeters.
After World War II, Russian cars, especially Pobeda and Volga, dominated the taxi market in Finland for several years. In the late 1950s, the import restriction on cars was lifted for taxi operators, which made it feasible to import western cars in larger numbers. By the end of the 1960s, Mercedes-Benz in particular had gained a dominant position, accounting for up to half the taxi stock, and the Finnish distributor of Mercedes, VEHO, even has a separate taxi sales department. Mercedes has remained the archetypal taxi ever since, although other makes such as Volvo (especially estate models) and Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) brands are also common.
Taxis in Finland do not have to be liveried in any particular colour or pattern. They are recognisable from the yellow TAKSI sign on the roof, which is illuminated when the taxi is available for hire. Taxis mainly gather at special taxi ranks, instead of being hailed. Customers either walk to the taxi rank and take the first available taxi from the front of the queue, or wait at the rank for a taxi to appear. One can also order a taxi by telephone or app to a specific address.
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 in 1899. 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. Within the last two decades[when?] a large number of taxis in France were Peugeot cars, among them the mythic Peugeot 406 used in Taxi, the French action-comedy film.
An important event in the history of the taxi was the invention of the taximeter by Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Bruhn, a German engineer, in 1891. The Daimler Victoria —the world's first meter-equipped (and gasoline-powered) taxicab—was built by Gottlieb Daimler in 1897, and began operation in Stuttgart that same year.
In Germany, taxis were required by law until November of 2005 to be light ivory, RAL number 1015). Before 1971, they were required to be black. There is a small illuminated TAXI sign on the roof of the car (on when available, off otherwise). Typically the taxicabs are Mercedes-Benz E-Class and S-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 have automatic transmission, and some have navigation systems on board. Fares are usually close to those of other western European countries; however, in Berlin taxis have a special low fare (€4) called Kurzstrecke for distances less than 2 km. Except in Portugal, in other western European capitals, the minimum taxi fare usually costs double;[clarification needed] nevertheless, the convenience and high quality of public transportation in most German cities eliminates the need for taxicabs. Although allowed, street hailing is relatively uncommon in Germany because cabs rarely circle the cities when vacant. Because there are relatively few customers, most cabs return to assigned waiting stations and are called on-demand. Although this has proven to be more economical for cab drivers, it is considered very inconvenient for commuters because taxis include the ride from the waiting station to the pickup point in the fare.
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. Taxi vehicles do not have to be a particular colour but all carry a distinctive roof sign with the licence number prominently displayed, some with the Irish word TACSAÍ instead of the usual TAXI. Additionally, a sticker or stickers determine their boundaries by county; these stickers carry a letter or letters reflecting the number plate county code (e.g. D=Dublin, MH=Meath etc.) (for full list, see vehicle registration plates of Ireland). And as of January 2013, a green and blue TAXI sticker is required on the front doors. 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.
In Italy, taxicabs are white (previously they were yellow, in the 1950s and 1960s they were green-black or red), with a small illuminated TAXI white (previously red) sign on a black background on the roof of the car. There are 25,186 taxis in the country (1 for every 2,412 people). Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Fiat models are common. MPV or minivan taxicabs are also prevalent, such as the Fiat Multipla, Fiat Ulysse, Fiat Doblo and Ford Galaxy. There is at the present time[when?] a harsh political struggle between people who advocate deregulation of taxi licences and those who are against it.
In Lithuania taxicabs are called taksi; all of them have a small, yellow illuminated cylinder-like Taksi sign on the roof of the car and a black and yellow checkered pattern on the sides. In the capital city Vilnius, taxicabs are divided into two categories: expensive and cheap. Expensive ones (i.e. Vilnius veža) charge 3.99 LTL to get in and 2.39-2.99 LTL per kilometer. They use white, brand new Ford C-Max or Volkswagen Touran models, allow passengers to pay for the trip using a credit card, use tablet computers instead of radio to communicate, and the drivers have special uniforms. Cheap taxis in Lithuania mostly use older high-end vehicles such as Volkswagen Passat (B4) or Audi A6 (C4) instead of the Chevrolet Spark or similar. They charge 2 LTL to get in and around 2 LTL per kilometer. They do not have a specific color and can be recognized only by a yellow Taksi sign on the roof or black and yellow checkered pattern on the sides.
In Norway, the end of 2009 roster showed that 41.9% of the 8961 taxicabs were from Mercedes-Benz, and several manufacturers that can offer a diesel-engined executive car are represented. 91.6% of Norwegian taxis are equipped with diesel engines.[needs update] Among maxitaxis (minibuses operating as taxis), Mercedes-Benz vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter constitute 70% of the fleet.
Taxicabs are usually distinguished by small company decals on the bonnet and doors and an illuminated "taxi" sign on the roof (the internationally recognised word taxi is almost always used, rather than the Norwegian word drosje; the term maxitaxi is used informally to refer to minibuses used as taxis). There is no particular colour for taxicabs though various shades of black and silver are the most popular choices of colour. Fares are always metered, although there may be fixed tariffs for certain journeys such as airport-to-city-centre.
In 2011, the most popular models of vehicles used as taxis were the Mercedes E-class, Toyota Prius, and Volvo V70, accounting for more than half of the taxi fleet. The Mercedes-Benz E-classes is the most common new cab, with the hybrid Toyota Prius in second place, the latter having increased its sales due to the tax regime favoring low carbon dioxide emissions.
Taxicabs in Romania are usually yellow, like in New York City, but this is not a universal rule. For instance, in Braşov County, some cabs are white; in Arad County, most are white. The company name, taxi fare, and license number are written on the car doors. Taxis do not include the ride from the waiting station to the pickup point in the fare.
Regulated official taxicabs, identifiable by their yellow livery (from the 1st of July[clarification needed] all taxis in Moscow must be painted in RAL 1006 [maize yellow]); they are relatively few in Moscow, however, since any car can be used as a taxi. There is a long tradition of so-called (in English) 'gypsy-cabs' that comprise most of the city's fleet. 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 traveling in the direction of their own destination.
Gypsy-cabs can be hailed quickly in central Moscow by stepping up to the curb and raising a hand. Driver and passenger will negotiate a price through the front window; though occasionally the driver does not wish to go to the requested destination or the passenger and driver cannot agree on a mutually acceptable price, in which case the car may leave and the passenger is able to try their luck with another one.
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.
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 Spanish cities, as well as in small and large towns, taxicabs always have a meter. The models that can be used must be previously officially approved for this function by the local authorities, and they are always four-door sedans or minivans.
Regarding the livery, each town and city designates the colour of their taxis, but the overwhelming majority are white, usually with some kind of colour detail and/or local symbol on the doors. For example, in Madrid and 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, they are white with a horizontal red stripe on the front doors. A notable exception is Barcelona, where taxicabs are fully black, except the doors and the boot lid, which are painted yellow.
In Sweden, most taxis are painted black, yellow or dark blue, to some extent depending on the company's guidelines. There are many taxi companies, from big networks to single-car companies. 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. The tariff varies, but all taxis must have a taximeter and a price comparison chart visible in the car.
There is a mature system of taxicabs throughout the United Kingdom. In 2015, there were around 298,000 licensed drivers in England, of which 164,000 were private hire licenses, 62,000 were taxi licenses and 72,000 were dual licenses. All taxicabs are regulated with various degrees of sophistication. However, London's black cabs, known historically and legally as hackney carriages, are particularly notable for their iconic vehicles and the extensive training course (The Knowledge) required for fully licensed drivers.
"Hackney carriages" ("black cabs"; but they may be any colour) 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.
Taxicab service in London is regulated by Transport for London's strict Conditions of Fitness, mandating size, turning radius, age, and emissions, resulting in its unique vehicles built primarily for the London market such as the LEVC and the Mercedes Vito seen today.
There are two other types of hire vehicles that act as taxis; they are known as private hire vehicles:
- A "private hire" taxi must be pre-booked, usually by telephone but also in some cases by e-mail or via in-car radio. Although not available to be hailed in the street, 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, and neither are their drivers. Generally, a prestige type 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 and private hire vehicles together with their drivers. Licensed vehicles will normally have an ID plate at the rear, and sometimes also at the front, which shows information such as the licence number, expiry date, and how many passengers it may carry.
In Mexico City, according to Mexican legislation introduced in 2001, public taxicabs (in contrast with private taxicabs, or taxis de sitio) must be four-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 passenger seat[clarification needed] removed in order to ease entry for passengers. At the moment,[when?] the taxi population is in a transition period, with both types in use.
Originally taxis were yellow with a white roof, until they were changed in the mid-1990s (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 governancy 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). As in most of the world, a special license must be obtained in order to run a taxicab.
Trinidad and Tobago
In Trinidad and Tobago the vehicles most commonly used as taxis are fifth-generation Nissan Cedrics, fifth and sixth-generation Nissan Laurels, 6th to 8th generation Toyota Crowns, Datsun Bluebirds and any other vehicles registered with an "H". However, in Trinidad, many cars still operate as taxicabs without being registered. These "illegal" taxicabs are called "PH" or "P/H" taxis due to the fact that private cars are registered with a "P", for example, "PAU 6767". Private taxi companies are scarce and expensive, hence all taxis in Trinidad are both driver-managed and driver-operated. Privately owned taxis vary in colour and model, therefore one would almost never see a yellow cab in Trinidad and Tobago. Unlike maxi taxis that are colour-coded to a specific area, taxicabs are not colour-coded.
United States and Canada
Throughout the United States (and Canada) there is a mature system of taxicabs. Most U.S. and Canadian cities have a licensing scheme that 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. Sometimes theme or entertainment-based taxis, like Funkmaster V's Uptown Cabs of Renown or Karaoke Kab, are popular taxi services in the United States.
Australia used horse-drawn taxis once cities were established (as had been used in Europe in the early 19th century). Motor vehicle taxis were introduced into Australia not long after they were put into service in the United Kingdom and Europe. In 1906, Sydney inaugurated motorised taxis and in approximately 1907 so did Queensland, and other states followed soon after.
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. American cars proved more suitable to Australian motoring conditions, especially for taxis. General Motors Corporation built thousands in Australia, as did the other American companies including Ford Motor Company and Chrysler.
The release of hybrid cars has been slow, but is beginning[as of?] to replace LPG taxis.
In New Zealand, as in Australia, Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons were the traditional taxicab of choice. However, in the last decade, large front-wheel drive V6 models such as Toyota Avalons, Nissan Maximas and Toyota Camrys predominated. In the main centres these are now being replaced by lower carbon-emission vehicles, primarily the Toyota Prius, and occasionally the Skoda Octavia.
In Argentina taxicabs are called taxis. In the capital of Buenos Aires, as well as Rosario and other cities, the taxis are black with yellow roofs. The licensing is a central government function. In the 1980s, many Peugeot 504s using the aforementioned paint scheme served as taxis. Today, most models are Chevrolet Corsa and Fiat Siena, with retrofitted or factory-built NGV engines, which means much lower fuel costs than gasoline.
In Colombia, taxicabs are yellow in most cities. The most common taxicab is the Hyundai Atos, praised for its fuel economy. Other similar, popular taxicab vehicles include the Chevrolet Matiz and the Kia Picanto.
In Guyana, any vehicle registered with the first letter as "H" is a taxi. There are over 20,000 registered taxis in the country. Some cars are not registered to be taxis but still operate as them. They are called private-hire cars and operate illegally in the country. They have "P" plates and are not authorised to operate as taxis. As of 2010, taxis are required to be painted yellow. They also have a sticker on the rear bumper that reads Hackney Carriage.
In Venezuela taxis are mostly white with the exception of luxury taxis usually found at airports and luxury hotels, which are black. In Venezuela, there is no such thing as a taximeter, nor any other way to know the fare. Due to this, it is common to discuss the fare with the driver before getting inside the cab. They tend to mislead tourists when coming to the country (especially Caracas) because the city does not have a numerical system for the streets, buildings or houses, making it almost impossible to navigate through the city with just a map.
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