The Taxicab

This passage is about the origins of the modern taxicab.

Lexile Level: 1110L

Categories: History People & Places Science & Technology


For more than a hundred years, motorized taxicabs have flowed through the streets of cities around the world. They first appeared in 1897 in Stuttgart, Germany, after Gottlied Daimler designed the "Daimler Victoria," a vehicle equipped with a meter used to calculate a fare. The term "taxicab" comes from the original name for this device: the "taximeter." It wasn't long before taxis made their way to other cities, including London, Paris, and New York City. The first person to import taxis to America was Harry Allen, who coined the term "taxicab." He was also the first person to paint his vehicles yellow, after learning that yellow was the color most easily seen from a distance. Today there are more than twelve thousand taxicabs prowling the streets of New York City in search of fares. They carry more than two hundred million passengers every year and drive without passengers for more than one million miles every night.


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