While the world has embraced ride-sharing apps and frequently uses them to move from point A to point B, taxis still exist. Commuters prefer them in some parts of the world due to their cheap fare and easy availability. Today, we will discuss the famous type of taxi in different parts of the world and find out what makes them so special.
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What is a Famous Type of Taxi
From London’s famous black cabs to Bangkok and Indian Tuk-Tuks, we have picked the popular taxis considering their dependability and practicality. Please note that ‘famous’ doesn’t always mean the ‘best’ for transportation.
A traditional taxi is something you hail in the streets and roads, but what about the places where streets do not exist? Yes, you guessed it right; we are talking about Venice, Italy. Most of the city is on the water, so traversing requires a famous type of taxi. In this case, it is a water taxi.
You can find plenty of small boats here (known as sandalo) to commute over the calmer canals. However, you must hire powerboats to handle the bigger waves of the lagoon’s water. They are perfect for taking you anywhere in the city.
If you think they won’t be attractive to bop around the water, you are wrong. Most water taxis here feature elegant wooden trim to attract travelers.
Taxis are generally available in urban and suburban areas, offering commutes in and out of the city. However, Nurburgring Nordschleife, situated in northwest Germany, brings us a unique taxi experience. If you are a car enthusiast, you would definitely know Nordschleife (also known as “The Green Hell”) is the world’s most famous and challenging racetrack, involving more than 150 corners around the Eifel Mountains. You might have seen different automakers hitting this track to prove the mettle of their creations over the years. But what happens when there is no competition? Well, the track is then available for public driving sessions.
Various companies offer commutes in high-performance cars driven by experienced drivers. You pay to take a race track tour and experience the excitement of this famous venue without worrying about an accident. The pictured vehicle here is the Porsche 911 GT RS, offering extreme thrills of this racetrack.
London Black Cab
Officially called Hackney Carriages, the famous London Black Cabs no longer have to be black. Especially sporting black after World War II, they now wear colorful liveries to advertise different products. Alas, these black cabs are not available in as many numbers as before, owing to the rise of ride-sharing services like Uber. However, they are still a famous type of Taxi in London.
These taxis still feature the boxy Fairway design created by Austin Company in 1958. The mechanics and interior facilities received various updates over the years, but you can still have that genuine London experience in these taxis.
What really makes traveling in these taxis safe and reliable is the knowledge and experience of the chauffeurs. They get the license only after learning about 25,000 side roads and 20,000 landmarks in the city.
New York City’s Yellow Cab
New York City welcomed its first taxis in 1897, brought by Samuel’s Electric Carriage and Wagon Company – the first taxicab firm in NY. They first introduced 12 electric hansom cabs, and ten years later, the city received gasoline-powered taxis from France. These sported canary yellow paint for better visibility from a distance. They became so popular among the commuters that they grew like a weed in the city. You would have seen them in every movie or TV show of old times.
Most of the old taxis were Ford Crown Victoria, which grew in numbers due to their affordability, dependability, and easy repairs. These are still present in millions, so repairs and replacements aren’t an issue. NY welcomed about ten million Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Cars in a quick time after their launch in 1979.
The Viennese Fiaker
Horse-drawn taxicabs (a.k.a Fiakers) in Vienna have been a part of this city’s rich culture for a long time. Most of these cabs have been family-operated since 1693, and people now use these horse carriages for weddings and other festivities. If you visit the Austrian capital Vienna, we highly suggest you take a ride on this famous type of taxi for a memorable experience.
Auto Rickshaw in India
Apart from the black and yellow cabs, auto rickshaws are a famous way of transportation in India and some other parts of the world. People prefer traveling in these rickshaws for their easy availability and cheaper fares compared to yellow cabs.
Mercedes Taxis in Munich
Undoubtedly, Mercedes-Benz is one of the best luxury brands in the world and is a symbol of class and richness stateside and in other countries. However, that’s only partially true in its home country, Germany, where people use Mercedes vehicles as workhorses. Mercedes cars work to serve as dump trucks, buses, vans, and even taxis.
The legendary ivory-painted sedans (most of these are E-Class) comprise around 60 percent of taxis in Germany. However, since the start of the current century, new taxi sales have been declining, and this time, we cannot accuse Uber because it needs to do better in Germany. The reason for the weakening taxi sales is the frequent and costly repairs, putting a huge dent in driver’s pockets.
H2O Taxi in Victoria, Canada
This famous type of taxi not only looks gorgeous but is equally amiable for a ride. Called the H2O Taxis, these are run by Victoria Harbour Ferry from March to October.
Tricycles in Philippines
Auto rickshaws, or traysikel as the Filipinos call them, there are plenty of different styles in the Philippines. Perhaps, the most usual design of a tricycle here consists of a motorbike attached to a sidecar. You can always flag a taxicab if you do not find it safe enough.
Black and Yellow Cabs in Barcelona
Visiting Barcelona will be incomplete without experiencing this famous type of taxi. They all look the same (black and yellow) and are clean, comfy, and plentiful. Similar to other places in the western world, they cost more on weekends and vacations.
The Bombardier “Ski-Doo” is presently a well-known commuter for winter power sports in snowy areas, but it wasn’t a familiar explorer some years back. Snowmobiles or sleds first came with tracks in place of wheels to increase contact with the land.
The latest sleds are actually an evolution of the sprocket wheel-and-track system made by Joseph-Armand Bombardier. The inventor created this patented system after the death of his son, who couldn’t reach the hospital due to the non-availability of snow transport.
The sled pictured above couldn’t rise to fame. Later, the manufacturer came up with a go-anywhere automobile to replace the dogsleds that hunters were employing to traverse the snowy areas. The company named it “Ski-Dog,” but a misprinting issue (where ‘o’ took the place of ‘g’) compelled the company to use “Ski-Doo.” After Bombardier’s relaunch, the company sold millions of Ski-Doo snowmobiles. They are familiar explorers on snowy landscapes, especially in Canada, as the company offers a range of models for every rider in the family.
These pedal-powered helmet-shaped taxis will undoubtedly attract you to the streets of Havana, Cuba. While these do not offer the safest of travels, they are the cheapest. Some of them carry a two-stroke engine to get the power to climb hilly roads.
The ‘coco’ name of this taxi is a short form of ‘coconut,’ and we do not recommend it for commuting. In reality, Canada and the UK authorities asked tourists to avoid them at all costs, mentioning severe road tragedies.
The weird transport appeared on the roads in the late 1990s as an affordable substitute for a famous type of taxi. Locals were tempted to drive these Cocotaxis because they were cheaper to buy and run. In order to make a cheap taxi, the manufacturers failed to follow passenger safety standards.
Bike Taxi in Paris
Making the commutes environment-friendly, France allows electric bicycle taxis. Although these electric bikes are slower than combustion-powered motorcycles, they are a sustainable way of commuting. This famous type of taxi is available with basic and premium features for travelers.
Red Taxi in Hong Kong
If you visit Hong Kong, you will usually find three different kinds of taxis, sporting distinct paints and serving specific regions. The red taxis with silver roofs are more widespread around Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
Horse-Drawn Buggies on Spetses Island
Once you arrive on this island, a horse-drawn buggy is the only way to commute from one place to another. You would love riding on these buggies, but they are unavailable all year round.
Famous for developing innovative technologies, Japan’s taxis are modern, comfortable, and convenient. There are plenty of them in different colors, and most have automatic sliding doors for easy ingress and egress.
If that’s not convenient enough, Japan is also testing self-driving taxis. Recently, we witnessed a successful autonomous trip of 5.3 kilometers in Tokyo where the driverless taxi picked up the passengers and dropped them off all on its own.
The passengers entered the driverless minivan, paid the rent through the mobile app, and left the taxi at their destination without interacting with any human being.
Red Convertible Taxi in Capri, Italy
If you have visited this Italian island on the Amalfi Coast, you definitely would have seen the red convertible cabs. Capri visitors would love to take this ride to get around the city and feel the wind on their faces in a 50’s Fiat. About fifty years back, these red cabs were a pretty sight, transporting film stars and business people. In the present time, although these red taxis serve as a reminder of the fashionable past, they still offer the most authentic experience of Capri’s salty atmosphere.
Traditional Abra Boats in Dubai
From the supercar fleet of police to the famous type of taxi, Dubai offers the world’s most modern means of transportation. In the sea of new technologies, the traditional wooden boats (a.k.a. Abra) are something you will relish while riding across Dubai Creek. The Abras has been in operation since the 1700s.
Tuk Tuk in Lisbon
Inspired by Asian Tuk Tuk taxis, Lisbon has its own take on the three-wheelers. Similar to auto-rickshaws in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, these feature a motor and seating for 2 to 4 people. The difference here is the open top, which can be closed to protect from sun and rain. These three-wheelers come in vibrant shades and are perfect for tourists to discover remote and hilly areas of the city, including Mouraria and Alfama.
Three-Wheelers in Sri Lanka
Similar to Lisbon auto rickshaws, these three-wheelers are perfect for moving around in Sri Lanka. They have a hard top and usually a meter to show the distance and fare. However, most rickshaw drivers have a fixed price for every location, which you can negotiate before the ride.
Ischia’s Classic Piaggio Ap
Do not forget to hail this famous type of taxi when you arrive on the Italian island of Ischia. These micro-taxis originate from the iconic Piaggio Ape and are devised by the famous designer who sketched Vespa. These peculiar taxis became a relaxed way of commuting post-WWII and are still popular.
Why is a taxi called a cab?
The term “cab” is actually a shortened form of “cabriolet,” which refers to a type of horse-drawn carriage that had a folding hood or top that could be pulled over the passenger compartment. In the 19th century, these horse-drawn carriages were commonly used as public transportation in cities. Over time, the term “cab” became synonymous with a taxi or taxicab, which is a motorized vehicle used for public transportation. The term “cab” is still used today to refer to taxis in many parts of the world, although the vehicles themselves have evolved significantly since the days of horse-drawn cabs.
What countries have red taxis?
Red taxis can be found in a number of countries around the world. Here are a couple of examples:
1. United States
2. United Kingdom
4. South Korea
It’s important to note that taxi colors can vary within a country and taxi colors can change over time, so it’s always a good idea to verify the current situation in a specific location.
What was an early taxi called?
An early form of a taxi was called a “hackney carriage” or simply a “hackney.” The term “hackney” originally referred to a type of horse used for hire or rental. In the 17th century, “hackney carriage” was used to describe a horse-drawn carriage that could be hired for transportation purposes. These carriages were usually operated by professional drivers and could be hired for a fee to transport passengers.