There are many yellow cab taxicab operators 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.
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.
The Yellow Cab Company of Chicago was founded by John D. Hertz in 1907. 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. 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. 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."
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. 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. 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.
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). Among its directors and major stockholders were Albert Rockwell and the Connecticut Cab Co. 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. By 1916, the company was being held in receivership, due to suits by numerous creditors.
In 2017, a study showed that the color yellow, for taxis, was more noticeable, resulting in 9% fewer accidents.
Yellow cab companies
- The Yellow Cab Group was founded in 1924 and operates in Queensland and Tasmania.
- Yellow Cabs operate in Melbourne. There all taxi companies have yellow-painted cabs.
- Yellow and Coastal Cabs are in Perth.
- The Yellow Cab Company of Vancouver, British Columbia was founded in 1921.
- Yellow Cab Company of Toronto, Ontario.
- Yellow Cab of Burlington, Ontario.
- Yellow Cab of Edmonton, Alberta was purchased and given the Yellow name in 1945.
- Yellow Cab of Halifax, was founded in 1962 and is the largest Yellow Cab brand in Atlantic Canada.
- Yellow Cab of Victoria, British Columbia, formerly Empress Taxi.
- The Yellow Cab Company of Baltimore, Maryland, was founded in 1909. It is currently owned by Transdev. (U.S.)
- Yellow Checker Cab of Peoria, Illinois, was founded in 1922 and is the largest taxi fleet in downstate Illinois. (U.S.)
- Yellow Cab Co. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was founded in 1918. It ultimately became Yellow Corporation, a major U.S. truck operator. (U.S.)
- The Yellow Cab Cooperative of San Francisco, California, was founded on November 8, 1977, succeeding a failed private company. (U.S.)
- Yellow Cab of San Diego, California, has been in continuous operation since the 1920s. Yellow Cab of San Diego has since sold all of its vehicles; the company operates now as a radio system only. (U.S.)
- California Yellow Cab, serving Orange County, California, has been in operation for over 60 years. It is owned by Keolis. (U.S.)
- Yellow Cab of Arizona, founded in 1967, serving the entire state of Arizona. (U.S.)
- Yellow Cab Co of Bay Area (U.S.)
- Peter Pan Bus Lines was founded as Yellow Cab Air Line in Springfield, Massachusetts, which was purchased in 1933 by Peter Carmen Picknelly (1891-1964) (U.S.)
- Louisville Transportation Company of Louisville, Kentucky, operates as Yellow Cab as well as Checker Cab and Cardinal Cab. Yellow Cab of Louisville has been in continuous operation since 1893, when it was founded as Louisville Carriage Company. (U.S.)
- Yellow Cab Of Buffalo, New York is part of Liberty Cab.
- Los Angeles Yellow Cab
- Brown, Peter Jensen. "New York, Paris, London (but not Munich); a Checkered History of Yellow Cabs". Early Sports 'n' Pop-Culture History Blog. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- "Yellow Cab Co. (of Chicago)". chicagohistory.org.
- "Yellow taxicab..." Coachbuilt.
- Forbes, Bertie C. (1927). Automotive Giants of America: Men Who Are Making Our Motor Industry. New York: B. C. Forbes. p. 147.
- Theobald, Mark. "Yellow Cab Mfg. Co". Coachbuilt.com. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
- The New York Times (June 14, 1908)
- The New York Law Journal (March 10, 1910)
- As calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator; year selected is 1913, the closest year available.
- The New York Times (May 1, 1915)
- In re Mason-Seaman Trans. Co., The Federal Reporter, Vol.235
- 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.
-  Archived December 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived March 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2004-07-06. Archived from the original on December 10, 2004. Retrieved 2011-09-21. Cite uses generic title (help)
- "Peoria Transportation Systems". Peoria-taxi.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
- "Welcome to YRC!". Myyellow.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
- "Our History". Yellowcabsf.com. 1977-11-08. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
- "San Diego Yellow Cab". sandiego.driveu.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
- "Yellow Cab - 714 999-9999 - Taxi cabs serving Orange County".
- "Taxi - KeolisNorthAmerica.com".
- "Yellow Cab AZ". Retrieved 2018-01-30.
- "Home - Yellow Cab Co". Order1taxi.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
- Yellow Cab of Louisville
- "Los Angeles Taxi, Taxi Cab Services In Los Angeles by RideYellow". Retrieved 2017-05-11.
- "The Yellow Cab Man". 7 April 1950 – via IMDb.
- "Broadway Dealers Enter Taxicab Field" From The Commercial Vehicle, May 1909
- Why does every city seem to have a Yellow Cab company? - Cecil Adams, Chicago Reader
- Yellow Cab Comprehensive article on Coachbuilt.com
- Yellow Cab Celebrates 50 Years of "Service to the Public", published in Trips 'n' Tips March 1965