From Kolkata’s humble yellow taxis, Mumbai’s multi-hued interiors of kaali-peelis, or even New York’s jiffy cabs, taxis around the world are an integral part of local travel. Today, we look at some of the most iconic taxis to exist. By Bayar Jain
Iconic Taxis From Every Continent In The World
Paying tribute to the humble cabs that swerve through streets worldwide, Budget Direct, an Australia-based insurance company, collated some of the most iconic taxis around the world, each divided continent-wise!
Iconic Taxis of Africa
Moroccan city Marrakesh houses some of the grandest old taxis in the world…literally! Known commonly as ‘grand taxis’, these carriers aren’t as large as they are regal, courtesy vintage cream-coloured Mercedes. When not going grand, ochre Fiat Uno or Peugeot 205 petit taxis also throng the streets of Marrakesh.
Madagascar, however, strays away from the yellow. Renault 4s and 2CVs from the 1970s roam the streets, each of which is treated with utmost respect from the drivers.
Iconic Taxis of Asia & Oceania
Hong Kong boasts of three types of taxi services, each differentiated by colour and territory (red, for the entire city except Lantau; green with white roofs, for New Territories; and 75 pale blue taxis for Lantau alone).
Australian streets, true to their North American past, look like descendants of the American yellow cab, which were first imported in 1924. Although today Melbourne-based cabs have to be yellow by law, Australia’s first fleet of iconic taxis were olive-green Renaults.
Iconic Taxis of Europe
One of the most iconic taxis in the world, the study notes, is London’s black cab. Officially known as the hackney carriage, these local carriers were built by different manufacturers in accordance with the city’s legal specifications. Today, The London Taxi Company (now absorbed into China’s Geely Automobiles) is responsible for the classic vehicles. Fun fact: Londoners voted the black cab as their favourite design icon for the city.
The Netherlands, however, turns vintage on its hand. These cabs are mandatorily monotone white or black, with a blue number plate to match. Keeping things modern, these Dutch cabs are reportedly being upgraded to the electricity-based Tesla.
Iconic Taxis of the Middle East and Central Asia
Afghanistan’s taxis celebrate retro, courtesy yellow exteriors paired with white doors. The most common models are old Toyota Corollas and Coronas, the classic Russian GAZ-21 Volga, and the boxy VAZ-2101 Zhiguli and Lada.
In UAE’s Dubai, however, beige thrives. But, the taxis’ roofs differ depending upon the manufacturer, of which red-roofed ones (run by Dubai Taxi Corporation) steal the limelight.
Iconic Taxis of North America
New York’s yellow taxis is unabashedly one of the most famous taxis in the world. In the past, multiple American companies have jostled for the propriety of the iconic colour for their taxis, but in 1970, the battle settled. Then, it became a law for regulated cabs to don the yellow hue to differentiate them from the unregulated lot.
Interestingly, the biggest taxi company in the world, Beck, resides in Canada. Toronto’s orange and turquoise Beck cabs might not be as famous as New York’s yellow taxis, but there sure are a lot of them!
Taxis of South America
Argentinian cabs reverse the New York colour scheme—that is, black with yellow roofs. This is in tribute to the common paint job of the much-loved Peugeot 504—a dominant taxi of the 1980s in Buenos Aires and other cities.
Peruvian cabs are all yellow, with the country’s flag around the beltline. While the colours are generic, these taxis stand apart for their shape: a retro-futuristic car-box silhouette of the Daewoo Tico, most of which ply the streets of Chiclayo.
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