London Taxis - Black Cabs

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The London taxi has over the years become more commonly called a London black cab. This is due to the predominate colour of black in which they Are painted, and at one time the only colour you would see them in, although These days they are actually a large number of colours London taxis will be Painted in. There are only a couple of different makes of taxi in use in London Due to the strict regulations they must conform to and regulated by the public Carriage office. London taxis are actually more accurately described as a Hackney carriage and this is printed on the licence plate along with the licence Number on the rear of each taxi. A hackney carriage is a taxi licensed by the Local authority. Hackney carriages were first introduced in 1662 at which time, Obviously, they were horse drawn carriages. London black cab drivers pride Themselves on being the best taxi drivers in the world. This is due to the Rigorous regime all taxi drivers must go through before they obtain a licence to Drive a taxi in London. London taxi drivers must study what is called 'the Knowledge', a period of study which takes on average around 3 years and in which They must learn most of the London streets and points of interest and be able to Recite any route between two two points when asked by an examiner. The Budding taxi driver will have to mentally drive the route in his head reciting All roads between those two points and taking the shortest route, which may not Be the quickest route. A huge number of would-be drivers drop out of the Knowledge before reaching the final stages.
Only London black taxis can pick up the public from a Street. They have insurance called 'public hire' that covers them to do this. The number of people a taxi is licensed to carry is printed on their plate on The rear of the vehicle, normally 5 but can be more. To hail a black taxi you Need to see if his taxi sign is lit. A lit sign will look like the sign below:
taxi sign
When it is lit it means the Taxi is available for hire and you should stand by the side of the road and wave Your hand. It's normal to tell the driver where you are going through the window Before getting into the taxi. Taxis will charge both by the mile and for time in Traffic. The time factor kicks in as the speed drops below 10.4 mph. Fares will change According to the time of day. Drivers must except your fare unless the Destination is more than 12 miles away (20 miles if picked up from Heathrow) or 1 hour in time away, or unless they have very good reason not to accept your Fare. Its a standing joke within London that London black cab drivers wont take Fares that are going south of the river Thames because they are unlikely to Easily gets a fare coming back.
For empty London taxis (i.e no fare on board there are provided a large Number of taxi ranks where a certain number of taxis are allowed to rank up and Wait for a fare. Many of these ranks also include a phone with a direct line to A taxi office in the case of the rank being empty.

The only type of taxi that you can book there and then is a distinctive London Black cab. The driver of any London black taxi will be wearing a green badge that has his number registered with The public carriage office is run by the London metropolitan police.

London black taxi cab
Black Taxi

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