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Yellow cab

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Yellow cabs in New York City taxi

Yellow cab taxicab operators exist all around the world (some with common heritage, some without). The original Yellow Cab Company, based in Chicago, Illinois, was one of the largest taxicab companies in the United States.


One of historical yellow taxis in Baku, Azerbaijan that were replaced with violet cabs in 2011

Yellow cabs date back to at least 1798, when the musical comedy, Cabriolet Jaune (Yellow Cab), debuted at Paris' Theatre de l'Opera Comique National. Yellow cabs were known in Paris and London throughout most of the 1800s. A yellow cab company shook up the New York Cab system in the mid-1880s, offering cheaper, more predictable fares than competitors. One of the first automobile cabs in London, in the 1890s, was a yellow electric automobile.[1]

The Yellow Cab Company of Chicago was founded by John D. Hertz in 1907.[2] Their specially designed taxicabs were powered by a 4-cylinder Continental engine equipped with a purpose-built taxicab body supplied by the Racine Body Co., of Racine, Wisconsin.[3] According to Yellow Cab Co. tradition, the color (and name) yellow was selected by John Hertz as the result of a survey he commissioned at a "local university", which indicated it was the easiest color to spot.[4] However, "he was certainly not the first taxicab operator to use that color and the university study to which B. C. Forbes refers has yet to be discovered."[5] In 2017, a study showed that the color yellow, for taxis, was more noticeable, resulting in 9% fewer accidents.[6]

In 1908, Albert Rockwell, founder and General Manager of the New Departure Manufacturing Co. of Bristol, Connecticut, travelled to Europe to evaluate their taxi systems, hoping to develop a similar one in Washington, D.C.[7] Ernest Wyckoff, Alfred Church and Clarence Partridge, well-known automobile dealers in New York, had a number of orange-yellow colored Rockwell taxicabs operating on Manhattan streets in 1909.[3] By March 1910, the Connecticut Cab Co. (essentially the directors of New Departure Manufacturing Co.) assumed operating control of Wyckoff, Church and Partridge's taxis.[8]

The Yellow Taxicab Co. was incorporated in New York on April 4, 1912. Its fares that year started at 50¢/mile (roughly equivalent to $12.12 in 2016 adjusted for inflation).[9] Among its directors and major stockholders were Albert Rockwell and the Connecticut Cab Co.[citation needed] Shortly after incorporation the Yellow Taxicab Co. merged with the Cab and Taxi Co., and with the strength of Connecticut Cab Co. behind them, the young business assumed a large share of the New York market. Its independent corporate life was fairly short, however, as fare wars and regulations forced a merger with the Mason-Seaman Transportation Co. on March 3, 1914. Shortly after, an injunction was filed by the company, seeking to restrain the city from enforcing the Public Hack ordinances, but it was rejected on appeal.[10] By 1916, the company was being held in receivership, due to suits by numerous creditors.[11]

The Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company was formed in 1920.[3]

List of cab companies[edit]


  • The Yellow Cab Group was founded in 1924 and operates in Queensland and Tasmania.
  • Yellow Cabs operate in Melbourne.
  • Yellow and Coastal Cabs are in Perth.



A yellow taxi in Kolkata




  • Taxis in Barcelona are yellow and black since 1929. This is a major exception to the rule of taxi colouring in Spain, with taxis of most cities being white.[16]

United States[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Yellow cabs are the focus of the films The Yellow Cab Man (1950), starring Red Skelton,[29][better source needed] and the acclaimed Taxi Driver (1976).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brown, Peter Jensen (11 September 2015). "New York, Paris, London (but not Munich); a Checkered History of Yellow Cabs". Early Sports 'n' Pop-Culture History Blog. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Yellow Cab Co. (of Chicago)". chicagohistory.org.
  3. ^ a b c "Yellow taxicab..." Coachbuilt.
  4. ^ Forbes, Bertie C. (1927). Automotive Giants of America: Men Who Are Making Our Motor Industry. New York: B. C. Forbes. p. 147.
  5. ^ Theobald, Mark. "Yellow Cab Mfg. Co". Coachbuilt.com. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  6. ^ Rice, Doyle (March 8, 2017). "If you want a safe taxi ride, yellow could be the way to go". USA Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 4B. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  7. ^ The New York Times (June 14, 1908)
  8. ^ The New York Law Journal (March 10, 1910)
  9. ^ As calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator; year selected is 1913, the closest year available.
  10. ^ The New York Times (May 1, 1915)
  11. ^ In re Mason-Seaman Trans. Co., The Federal Reporter, Vol.235
  12. ^ "Main Page". www.yellowcabonline.com. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008.
  13. ^ "Yellow Cab History". www.edmontonskyshuttle.com. Archived from the original on March 23, 2006.
  14. ^ "Home". yellowcabhalifax.ca.
  15. ^ Szabolcs Dull. "Jönnek a sárga, légkondicionált taxik Budapestre". Origo.hu (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2023-09-26.
  16. ^ Why are taxicabs yellow and black in Barcelona? Sport (Spanish newspaper)
  17. ^ "Connex / Yellow Transportation History". 2004-07-06. Archived from the original on December 10, 2004. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  18. ^ "Taxi".
  19. ^ "Peoria Transportation Systems". Peoria-taxi.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  20. ^ "Welcome to YRC!". Myyellow.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  21. ^ "Our History". Yellowcabsf.com. 1977-11-08. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  22. ^ "San Diego Yellow Cab". sandiego.driveu.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  23. ^ "Yellow Cab - 714 999-9999 - Taxi cabs serving Orange County".
  24. ^ "Taxi - KeolisNorthAmerica.com".
  25. ^ "Yellow Cab AZ". Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  26. ^ "Home - Yellow Cab Co". Order1taxi.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  27. ^ Yellow Cab of Louisville
  28. ^ "Los Angeles Taxi, Taxi Cab Services In Los Angeles by RideYellow". Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  29. ^ "The Yellow Cab Man". 7 April 1950 – via IMDb.

External links[edit]