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#30022 - 09/29/03 07:25 PM OT: London Taxis?
ThinkGood Offline

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
pauluk mentioned taxis in a posting from this thread .

I wonder, has anybody seen any London Taxis in NYC?

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#30023 - 09/29/03 08:06 PM Re: OT: London Taxis?
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Only one as a private car so far here in New York City. Fairly old rattle trap with the steering wheel on the right side. Basic sturdy-looking cars. I liked them.

This one you point to looks too much like a luxury car!

Radio with CD player? Air conditioner??? Automatic transmission???? WAAYYYY too fancy for me.

Seriously though. I doubt a medallion (yellow) fleet in NYC would buy them. They seem too expensive. But then again, I did once see a medallion hack driving a Lexus 4x4 so I may be surprised yet again. Then there was a Mercedes Benz that I also saw (yes, New York).

The commonly used car for these fleets is a Crown Victoria and until the city demanded that the yellow fleets start buying new cars only, they were buying used police cars (Chevrolet Caprice and Ford Crown Victoria), painting them yellow and equipping them with the "taxi package" (roof light, partition, black vinyl bench seats, etc.) and squeezing a couple of years out of them until they became too banged up to continue using. These cars were held literally "by a string and a prayer."

The "re-painted police car" taxi is still allowed in a lot of cities. Others allow you to use whatever car you want. The New York Capital District (Albany, Schenectady, Troy) is notorious for this. Couple of years ago, I took a ride in a station wagon taxi up there that must have been about 20 years old. The seats were torn, the car squeaked and rattled as the guy drove it to the railroad station at around 40 mph in city traffic. It was fun!

This new type of car would be IDEAL, however, for the more upscale "livery" taxi service, -- you know the ones that get radio dispatched and are not legally allowed to pick up fares off the street. Drivers do it anyway.

These guys commonly use somber-looking Cadillac and Lincolns. I wonder if one of these "London Taxis" would have the same amount of trunk space.

P.S.: Yellow taxi drivers do not "work" for the cab company in New York. You rent the car and (according to my ex-cabbie uncle), the first $100 you make that day go to paying the rent on the car. Then there's gas....and tickets (fines).

Livery taxis are usually co-operatives. You own your own car and the co-op issue you a number and a two-way radio (normally a "business band" radio and other times a "cooked" CB set).

My uncle drove for both types until in the mid 1980s he got a knife put to his throat and robbed up in some neighborhood in Bronx County. Thugs even stole the taxi meter right out of the car!! He still has the "cooked" CB radios from those days.

It's a hard job. You really have to drive like a maniac if you intend to cover your cost for the car rental and make some take-home money on top of that.

OK. Enough taxiing around...

#30024 - 09/30/03 04:07 PM Re: OT: London Taxis?
pauluk Offline

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Never seen a London taxi in NYC, but the first time I set foot in Manhattan I saw an old British double-decker bus on the streets!

Don't they have one alongside the old London Bridge in Arizona?

#30025 - 09/30/03 04:10 PM Re: OT: London Taxis?
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
The distributor that is bringing these to USA is right here in MA. I read an article on these and they seem pretty cool. I saw one on the road recently and it certainly is an attention getter.

#30026 - 09/30/03 04:38 PM Re: OT: London Taxis?
CaOperator Offline

Registered: 04/17/03
Posts: 56
Loc: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Wish I had seen one of those, they look very nice. The only time I spend much time in taxis is when on vacation. On our last trip to Las Vegas, we had 8 people in our group, too many for a regular taxi or even one of the mini vans. We ended up using limos everywhere, and at $35 per ride they weren't too bad, especially if you liked a thrill ride. Every taxi and limo in Vegas seems to like to go freeway speeds on the streets, and most of the limos seemed to have unbalanced driveshafts, or bad U joints. Lots of vibration and thumping! It got a little hair raising realizing we were moving on a crowded 6 lane street at about 65 MPH right up against the curb and through intersections. If anyone so much as stuck their nose out is was going to be all over!

#30027 - 09/30/03 05:08 PM Re: OT: London Taxis?
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City

Interesting you should mention about those right-hand drive double-decker buses here!

The tour company that owned them doesn't exist anymore.

Their drivers were involved in some serious accidents - I think some deaths were involved. After all this publicity the operator went belly up and a bigger tour operator bought the company's assets.

The new operator phased out the old buses and are now using left-hand drive buses only, made by Dennis.

Later it was found out that the original owner had lied to US Customs about the age of the buses on the declaration sheets so that they could avoid having them inspected for fumes.

Last time I saw these right-had drive buses was either in Montreal, Boston....or was it San Diego? Hmmm....

But definitely not in New York anymore.

The funny thing was that some of these old right-hand drive buses still had the British licence plates on them and all the original warning labels and ads and everything still on the inside!!!

Wonder what happened to them.

#30028 - 09/30/03 06:00 PM Re: OT: London Taxis?
ThinkGood Offline

Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Have you ever seen the taxi used by what I am guessing would be the NYPD? Last few times I've seen it (and heard it...whoop whooooooop!) they were using the same taxi number on the top of it.

I found it somewhat amusing...

#30029 - 10/01/03 04:14 AM Re: OT: London Taxis?
Texas_Ranger Offline

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2331
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Those taxis have started to appear in Austria about a year ago. most of them come in full advertising livery, I remember quite a lot of ugly T-Mobile magenta ones. The classic taxi here has been the Mercedes for ages. They aren't that expensive and most of all the Diesel versions last forever. There are still plenty of late 70ies models around. Nowadays there are some Citroen and other makes as well, but Mercedes is still dominant (for example my uncle drives an Opel in everyday life and a Mercedes taxi). I've never seen an American car used as a Taxi. They're helluva expensive here and their fuel consumption is beyond belief compared to European and Japanese cars (a cousin of mine drove a Chrysler Voyager Diesel for some time and he kept complaining about it until he dumped it for a Renault Kangoo). US cars are still pretty rare here, most companies produce different models for the European market (like a Ford Europe is something completely different than a US Ford).


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