Showing posts with label Taximeter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taximeter. Show all posts

Jul 6, 2012

Interesting Facts about Taxis

Back in England, the Hansom cab was a kind of two wheel horse-drawn carriage designed and patented in 1834 by Joseph Hansom, an architect from York. The vehicle was developed and tested by Hansom in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England. Originally called the Hansom Safety Cab, Hansom's design was modified by John Chapman (not Johnny Appleseed and not Dallas' John Chapman) and several others to improve its practicability, but retained Hansom's name. Hansom also set up a company in New York in 1869.

Hackney was an area of London, England and before Hansoms, hackney was also a name for carriages for hire to get around the city. It is also where we get the name 'hack' for modern cab drivers.

Harry Nathaniel Allen of The New York Taxicab Co., who imported the first 600 gas-powered New York taxicabs from France, coined the word "taxicab" as a contraction of "taximeter cabriolet", with cabriolet reflecting the design of the carriage.

There are essentially four distinct forms of taxicab, which can be identified by slightly differing terms in different countries:

1 - Hackney carriages, also known as public hire, hailed or street taxis, licensed for hailing on the street. Hansom's were Hackneys.
2 - Private hire vehicles, also known as minicabs or private hire taxis, licensed for pre-booking only.
3 - Taxibuses, also known as Jitneys, operating on preset routes typified by multiple stops and multiple independent passengers.
4 - Limousines, specialized vehicle licensed for operation by pre-booking.

Taxi service is typically provided by automobiles, but various human-powered vehicles, such as the rickshaw or pedicab and animal-powered vehicles, or boats, such as water taxis or gondolas are also used

The first taxi service in Toronto was established in 1837 by Thornton Blackburn, an ex-slave from the US. He designed and built a red and yellow box cab named 'The City', drawn by a single horse, and able to carry four passengers, with a driver in a box at the front, which he, himself, would operate. It became the nucleus of a taxicab company, the city's first, a successful venture

The firm Checker, which also made cars in addition to the eponymous cabs, came into existence back then, and stopped manufacturing cabs in 1982. It continued operation at partial capacity making Cadillac parts for General Motors until January 2009 when it declared bankruptcy.

Taximeter and Flag Falls

Taximeter is the device that calculates the charge and has been a device with a flag that a cab driver pushes down to start the charge count. The origin is a minimum charge for hiring a taxi, to which the rate per kilometer or mile is then added. It dates back to the old mechanical taximeters, which were equipped with a flag-like lever that could be seen from outside the cab. Think tax (charge) by the meter, as in kilometer.

Flagfall or flag fall is a common Australian expression for a fixed start fee, especially in the haulage and railroad industry. From the Australia mobile phone industry, the expression has recently begun to spread to other English language countries, as business jargon for an initial fixed fee for establishing each phone call. It is also beginning to find its way into other businesses as a synonym to 'start fee'.