Through out the world different countries are known for their stereotypical taxis for example America has its 'Yellow taxis' where as Britain has its 'Black cabs' and Hackney carriages. Taxi services have been running in many different countries for many years and the history behind some of these famous taxi groups is below:
- Yellow Cabs - The yellow cab company is one of the oldest running taxi firms in the US as it has over 50 years of public service with the company starting in 1905 when John Hertz and Walden W Shaw became partners and the company has been progressing since then to become a world wide known symbol of its country. In earlier years when the company was trying to publicise itself they researched a survey that showed most people associated the colour yellow with a taxi, this resulting in the distinguishing colour. They then had to create an advertising campaign that would remove the stigma from riding in a cab as people had seen riding in a taxi as an undignified thing, so they turned it round saying people riding in cabs could afford the care free ride to where they wanted to go.
- Black cabs - The first official black taxi of London first came around in the 17th century when they used horses and the service group was known as Hackney Carriage. The term taxi came along in later years when a Wilhelm Bruhn invented the taximeter, this measures the distance travelled and time taken so a fair price could be devised, his technology is the foundation for the taximeters used today. Being a black cab driver in London means you have to pass the hardest taxi driving test in the world itís a test known as the knowledge and can take some people up to 4 years to learn completely, but only after the test is passed can you progress to drive the taxis. There are also specific requirements, conditions of fitness, that the taxis have to meet before being put to service for the public, these have been in place for many years and some of them may seem a little strange to the modern day public. For example there is one requirement that states the cab must have enough height in the back of the vehicle for the passenger to sit with a bowler hat on comfortably.
- Hackney carriage - This Company was one of the first taxi firms in the world and started in the 17th century with horse drawn carriages. Throughout the 20th century cars tended to replace the horse cabs, although there was still a special horse service that was drawn by two horses, had four wheels and could fit up to six passengers in it. Unlike many taxi firms that are private hire and you can only ride in the vehicle if you have previously booked for one to pick you up the hackney carriage taxis drive round the streets looking for passengers to pick up.
Although these may just be a form of public transport they have become iconic elements to the countries they come from, for example many people when thinking of New York automatically think of the streets full of yellow taxis. This showing how these taxi firms are important tradition to the countries they originate from.