Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked about the world of professional transport and about vehicles as a tool for work. Along the same lines, today we will devote our post to taxis and to the taxi drivers reading it. The term ‘taxi’ is one of those international words. Together with ‘hotel’ and ‘stop’, ‘taxi’ is such a universal word that you can be understood anywhere in the world. You just need to raise your hand and say ‘Taxi!’ Taxicab livery varies greatly from country to country.
Who wouldn´t recognise the typical London taxi? Black Cabs are as emblematic as London’s famous red telephone booths, double-decker buses or the Royal Guard at Buckingham Palace. Taxi-driver candidates must pass really hard tests and learn by heart hundreds of routes, streets and sites.
But let’s now focus on the taxicabs of New York City. They are easily recognisable icons, thanks to films and television. Driving around the Big Apple, they usually rely on US makes: Ford, Chrysler or Dodge. They are one of the best means of transport to move about the hectic city.
Although no longer in use, Mexican vochos are some of the best-known taxis. You can still see the legendary green Volkswagen Beetles driving the streets. They stopped being used due to pollution issues and the inconvenience of having just two doors.
Let’s stay in America. It’s Havana’s turn now, with its two cab types. The almendrones are American classic cars from the 1950s that definitely take you back in time, and the coco-taxis -a kind of tricycle or motorcycle with a domed roof, hence their name- are a really picturesque means of transport in Cuba’s capital city.
Asia also offers interesting examples. The striking tuk tuk is typical of Bangkok in Thailand: it is actually a three-wheeled rickshaw, originally pulled by a person and later by a bicycle. Its bright colours draw people’s attention amidst Bangkok’s chaotic traffic. They are really agile vehicles and can take you to your destination fairly quickly.
Similar vehicles are used in New Delhi. The auto-rickshaw is a motorbike with a three-passenger cabin. They are usually bright green and yellow. The best means of urban transport for short distances.
And what can be said about water-taxis? Well, cities like Venice, Miami and Sidney use them. These tourist-cruises are necessary in places surrounded by water.
And, of course, mention must be made to Japan. Most taxis there are the same model, the Toyota Crown Comfort. They are vacant if they have a red light on the roof, contrary to what one might think. The driver opens the door automatically from the inside by pressing a button. Once you are in, you notice how clean and decorated the vehicle is. They come with all the trimmings: lace headrests, embroidered upholstery, and a taxi driver in a suit wearing white gloves.