My Town's Absurd Taxi Fleet
A version of this article originally appeared on the old Kinja Oppositelock; this is an extensively reworked compilation of a few posts which appeared first on the Oppo Trive Dribe.
Let's start with the Universal Taxi Fleet
There is an enigma cruising the streets of my town; an otherwise unremarkable late first generation Nissan Frontier quad cab has been forced into taxi duty. Yes, you heard it right, the largest taxi company - and the only one that paints their cars yellow - has operated a compact pickup truck for as long as I can remember. Photographic proof has been surprisingly difficult to come by but I have finally obtained evidence.
First, I have this screenshot from a time lapse video I took that captured a single frame of the front of the Frontier. As you can see, it is a post facelift first generation double cap and appears to be a 4x4 model.
Ingress and egress through the tiny rear doors on these is terrible and the back seats are tiny and cramped. I don't think I could name a worse four door vehicle as a candidate for a taxi if I tried. Perhaps more surprisingly, it has been operating since it was at least only a few years old so this wasn't just the cheapest thing at an insurance auction, someone picked it for a reason.
Here is another view of it that shows a division of passenger vs cargo space entirely inappropriate for use as a taxi. This keeps me up at night.
Their second strangest choice, after the Frontier of course, is a third generation Toyota 4Runner. Surely someone realizes that miles per gallon matter more than smiles per gallon when running a business.
And that's ignoring the poor safety and ingress/egress for the rear passengers of the third gen 4Runner. It's not even the only one they have!
They have this one with chrome bumpers and unpainted wheel arch flares as well as one with painted trim. They might even have a third but it's hard to tell.
The other taxi companies
Mostly, however, the town's taxi fleet consists of older minivans. Most notably, multiple Toyota Previas.
I managed to take this photo of a taxi company’s Previa, who mostly caters to Spanish speaking communities. They do not paint their cars, most of which are gray or silver, so you can’t read their grayscale logo without a contrasting background.
At least it is economical and easy to maneuver, though I’m not sure that is very important given it mostly navigates the divided four lane roads around Wal-Mart. A 20 year old van that is difficult to service and obtain parts for simply doesn’t seem like the best choice for a taxi.
Next up, we have a smattering of different brands, models, and years of minivans, including Toyota Siennas and Honda Odysseys. Most of their minivans look surprisingly good for 15 years of taxi duty.
They operate several first generation Honda Odysseys, which didn't sell well for being too small and weird for the US market. This second generation van is also in service and is somehow in better shape than many of these at half this age.
Here is an old Kia Sedona of an age that has long since mostly vanished from our roadways. I don't know how they manage to keep these vans in such good shape.
Not in such good shape is this old and creaky Nissan Quest that doesn't come out very often. I find the use of three different taxi lights on the roof to be a strange choice.
They also have a 1.5 generation Fusion, which looks surprisingly good in a black and white taxi livery. The newest taxi operated in my town appeared fairly recently in the form of a new Ford Taurus.
There are also a few surprising sedans pressed into taxi duty, including a sixth generation (2007) Nissan Sentra and other older Japanese compacts.
Well, that’s the absurd taxi fleet of my town. Which do you suppose makes the least sense? And have you encountered any unlikely or nonsensical cars as taxis before? Let me know.
...wut.....how can that Nissan pickup be an economical taxi for the person driving it? 0_o
@rallydarkstrike EXACTLY! It's just as inefficient as the 4Runner too except it has an even smaller back seat, worse ergonomics and no place to put luggage! It's so entirely terrible at its job!
Yeah, makes no sense!!! Like...if they even bought some cheap used Corolla, they'd save so much on fuel!
@rallydarkstrike And they actually bought this thing when it was nearly new. I just don't get it.
@rallydarkstrike And they made the same mistake at least three times!
As of last summer, there was still a 2nd generation Panther Town Car taxi running around the Delaware beaches - the newest it could have possibly been was 22 years old (1997). Not sure if its still there or not, I haven't really been to that area at all this year.
@ranwhenparked That's very impressive indeed. I never those on the road anymore. I saw a Crown Vic of that generation as a private security car a month ago, clearly in ex cop spec, but they have all but disappeared from the roads. Still some newer Crown Vic taxis around the place.
SilentbutnotreallyDeadly last edited by
Our town taxi's are both Camry Hybrid. And there's legislation that a licensed taxi can be no older than 5 or 7 years. Also Uber has much the same rules down here for their drivers.
WhoIsTheLeader last edited by WhoIsTheLeader
@silentbutnotreallydeadly Uber is the same but there are clearly not vehicle limits here for licensed taxis. I feel like a used Camry hybrid could probably pay for itself in a year over the gas guzzling SUVs and that Fronter. I don't get it at all.
davesaddiction last edited by
@whoistheleader Moved to Best of OPPO.