London and New York are similar in many ways, including the hustle and bustle, the sheer amounts of people and the high level of transport around. One thing they do both have in common is there none stop flow of cabs. GoTaxi explains the similarities and differences between the two cabs…

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When you think of a taxi in London, you imagine the traditional hackney carriage (the black cab) and when you think of a New York cab, you visualise the bright yellow Fords. There isn’t one other city that has more iconic modes of travel but many people seem to think that the colour is the only difference between these two cabs. That’s where they are wrong.

First we will start with the similarities between the two cabs. The two cabs are owned by private companies which give licences to cab drivers for their vehicles with the specific city’s government. In London you apply for this at the Public Carriage Office and New York’s is the Taxi and Limousine Commission. In New York any drivers must hold a valid State chauffeurs licence from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Connecticut before they are able to apply. London doesn’t have a chauffer’s licence as such but drivers must have a driver’s badge. The yellow badge allows the diver to work in any of outer London’s nine suburban sectors including Bromley, Sutton, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Harrow, Enfield and many more. They cannot drive in all 9 sectors; they must choose one of the 9. There is also the green badge holder who can drive all over London, whenever and wherever they want!

New York Taxi Driver Applications and Tests

In New York, if you want to apply to become a taxi driver, you must have proof that you have taken the Defensive Driving Course, enrolled at the Taxi School, passed an English exam, completed the ‘Hack Test’ which is a 50 question exam on geographic knowledge and learnt the TLC rules.

London’s Taxi driver applications and tests

This is a lot more complicated and rigorous than the New York application. In London the application can take three to five years to complete. You have to learn three hundred and twenty ‘runs’ in London and thirty thousand points of interest on a moped. As well as that, you have to partake in a two-stage exam in which you have to pass by 60% and three ‘Appearances’ which are oral exams which can take several attempts to pass.

New York Taxi Drivers

In New York they are a lot stricter on where the cabs can pick up and drop off passengers but customers can pre-book the yellow cabs and can make a deal on price. In New York, the drivers also use GPS to help them find their way around the city which means you may not necessarily get there as quickly as you would in a London cab because they don’t know all the back routes.

London Cab Drivers

This is where the two cabs are very different because London cab drivers are famously known for their fantastic knowledge of the roads in London so therefor they don’t use GPS or any form of satellite navigation to help them find their way. They are required to rely on what is known as ‘The Knowledge’ which is what they have to study to get the taxi driver licence. In London, customers cannot pre-book, the cabs can only get flagged down if they have their ‘TAXI’ light on.

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