Which Cars are Popular for Taxis? A Look at NYC's New Cab and More
July 24, 2015
When the Hansom cab hit the streets of London in the 1830s, it was seen as the sleek modern ride of the future. Its light design and easy maneuverability meant that it could weave through dense London traffic much quicker than the older, clunkier Hackney carriage. And soon, taxi cabs across the UK, Canada, and the rest of the world jumped on the bandwagon.
Of course, the horse-drawn Hansom taxi cab would now be seen as adorably outdated. With a motor that ran on hay and a top speed that was, well, limited by how fast horses trotted, the Hansom would be no match for today’s taxis.
In every major city today, taxis of all shapes, sizes and colours ferry around millions of passengers and rake in billions in fares. But, much like the old-school Hansom cab, some factors make certain cars clear favourites among cab companies.
If you plan to pursue an automotive career, read on to learn more about some of the vehicles used as taxicabs around the world.
Tuk Tuks Are Among the Most Common, and Least Expensive Taxicabs across the Globe
Let’s begin our worldwide taxi tour on the humid streets of Bankok. These streets are crowded with cars, trucks, and motorcycles of all shapes and sizes, and that includes one the most common cabs in the world: the tuk tuk.
Around the world, the humble tuk tuk carries millions of passengers – most of them in developing countries. Tuk tuks are small, cause pollution, have limited trunk space, and are fairly slow (top speeds usually reach about 30 mph). However, they have one useful asset: their price. For a brand-new tuk tuk, buyers only need to shell out a couple thousand dollars.
Mechanics Know the Iconic Black Cab of London Requires Little Maintenance
While some people still call the iconic black cabs of London “Hackney carriages,” the name is about the only thing these cabs share with the horse-drawn buggies of the 19th Century. Instead, these sleek black cars sport a comfortable interior and an engine that boasts a reputation of being stoically durable.
A black cab can typically run for over 800,000km before it needs to visit an automotive service technician for repairs. That kind of reliability is what has made this particular taxicab a British staple. But, with new emissions standards coming into effect, the black cab might soon be replaced with a more eco-friendly model.
Automotive Pros Recognize New York City’s Yellow Crown Victoria Taxis
Of course, no discussion on cabs could be complete without mentioning New York’s iconic yellow taxis. The Crown Victoria has reigned supreme in New York since 1992, when it replaced the once-famous checkered yellow cab.
The Crown Vic originally won out because of its better fuel efficiency. However, much like the checkered yellow cab, it too will soon be replaced. By 2018, professionals with careers in auto will see Nissan NV200s roaming the streets of NYC, complete with USB chargers, floor lights, low-annoyance horns, and germ-fighting easy-to-clean seats.
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