How taxis gave Prague the texture of a giant metropolis


L&Ok taxis: the hallmark of a giant metropolis 

The fantastic day within the historical past of Prague’s taxi service – and a landmark occasion for Centre Europe – got here on 7 September 1907. On the primary day, a LAURIN & KLEMENT B2 automobile began its trial operation, adopted by C2 mannequin automobiles. From the next day onwards, Prague residents might get pleasure from a journey within the first 4 taxis. 

Within the phrases of the favored up to date journal Světozor, “the auto cabs of Prague set off into the squares and streets, giving them the texture of a significant metropolis. These cabs actually symbolize the protected site visitors of the longer term, for in opposition to them, when their transport turns into considerably cheaper, all competitors from odd horse-drawn cabs and fiacres will likely be in useless. What appears a sensational novelty in the present day will quickly purchase the total proper of every day use by and indispensability to the general public.” 

A interval LAURIN & KLEMENT commercial asserting the launch of the taxi service in Prague

The primary taxi drivers sought to draw their goal group of shoppers, i.e. wealthier residents arriving within the metropolis by prepare, by situating a taxi rank in entrance of what’s in the present day Masaryk Station, with others within the streets Havlíčkova ulice and Ferdinandova třída (which is in the present day’s Národní, or Nationwide Avenue) and on the Powder Gate. LAURIN & KLEMENT’s newspaper commercial careworn consolation and low costs, however up to date sources fail to say the precise fare charges. We additionally learn that “the proceeds from the primary day’s fares will go to the town’s poor”, that means the takings got to charity. The taxis – although not all – have been already geared up with meters and the fare might be adopted on a mechanical counter. The time period “taxi meter” quickly began for use as a nickname for the auto cabs themselves in Prague, as evidenced by up to date newspapers, magazines, movies, and the recollections of witnesses.


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