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North American taximeter North American taximeter (cropped).png
North American taximeter
Indonesian taximeter Argometer Taxi.jpg
Indonesian taximeter
Japanese taximeter JapanTaxi ATM-100.JPG
Japanese taximeter

A taximeter is a mechanical or electronic device installed in taxicabs and auto rickshaws that calculates passenger fares based on a combination of distance travelled and waiting time. Its shortened form, "taxi", is also a metonym for the hired cars that use them. [1] [2]



Argentine Taximeter "Digitax Printer" in "Libre" (Available) mode Taximetro-Digitax Printer 1.jpeg
Argentine Taxímeter "Digitax Printer" in "Libre" (Available) mode

The modern taximeter was invented by German Friedrich Wilhelm Gustav Bruhn in 1891, [3] and the Daimler Victoria the world's first meter-equipped (and gasoline-powered) taxicabwas built by Gottlieb Daimler in 1897.

Taximeters were originally mechanical and mounted outside the cab, above the driver's side front wheel. Meters were soon relocated inside the taxi, and in the 1980s electronic meters were introduced, doing away with the once-familiar ticking sound of the meter's timing mechanism.

In some locations, taxicabs display a small illuminated sign indicating if they are free (available). In Argentina, this sign is called a "banderita" (little flag), a carryover term from the days of mechanical taximeters, in which a little flag was turned to wind up the mechanism. The flag would be hidden at the start of a trip and moved to the visible position at the end.

World Moto developed the world's first portable taximeter for motorcycles and pedicabs, which Fast Company called "the First Real Taxi Meter Innovation in 100 Years". [4]

k constant

Constant expressed in pulses per kilometre which represents the number of pulses the taximeter must receive in order to correctly indicate a distance traveled of one kilometre. [5]


Taximeters, when they are installed to the taxis, require adjustment of k constant. During the movement, car generates signal which transmitted to the taximeter. Number of signals transmitted per k constant ratio results distance travelled. Within pre-installed tariff values and travel data are multiplied and fare is calculated.

Accessories and features

Mechanical autorickshaw meter in India Jaipur 03-2016 29 auto-rikshaw meter.jpg
Mechanical autorickshaw meter in India
Calibrating a taximeter, Seattle circa 1960s Seattle - Inspector testing taxi, circa 1960s (50323445878).jpg
Calibrating a taximeter, Seattle circa 1960s

Taximeters can include several accessories, or act as components in larger dispatching/control systems. Features include:

Work cycle

During normal operation, taximeters repeat cyclically through several stages:

See also

Related Research Articles

Hackney carriage Car for hire

A hackney or hackney carriage is a carriage or car for hire. A hackney of a more expensive or high class was called a remise.

Hansom cab Type of horse-drawn carriage

The hansom cab is a kind of horse-drawn carriage designed and patented in 1834 by Joseph Hansom, an architect from York. The vehicle was developed and tested by Hansom in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England. Originally called the Hansom safety cab, it was designed to combine speed with safety, with a low centre of gravity for safe cornering. Hansom's original design was modified by John Chapman and several others to improve its practicability, but retained Hansom's name.

Taxi stand

A taxicab stand is a queue area on a street or on private property where taxicabs line up to wait for passengers.

Taxis of Hong Kong

Hong Kong taxicabs are the principal taxi service in Hong Kong. Although a few taxis are independently owned and operated, the vast majority are owned by 17 independent taxi companies that rent out taxis on a shift basis to 40,000 self-employed drivers.

Taxis of New York City

In New York City, taxicabs come in two varieties: yellow and green; they are widely recognizable symbols of the city. Taxis painted yellow are able to pick up passengers anywhere in the five boroughs. Those painted apple green, which began to appear in August 2013, are allowed to pick up passengers in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Both types have the same fare structure. Taxicabs are operated by private companies and licensed by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). It also oversees over 40,000 other for-hire vehicles, including "black cars", commuter vans, and ambulettes.

Taxis of Singapore

Taxis of Singapore come in two main varieties. Traditional taxi companies offer flag down and call bookings and their drivers are hired employees of the company. Ridesharing companies allow bookings through a smartphone, allowing ease for passengers, these are mostly known as private hire vehicles (PHV). Their apps also allow anyone, provided they meet various requirements depending on the company, to work and pick up passengers with their own vehicle, be it owned or rented.

Motorcycle taxi

A motorcycle taxi, or cart bike or bike taxi, is a licensed form of transport in some countries. The taxi typically carries one passenger, who "rides pillion" behind the motorcycle operator. Multiple passengers are common in some countries.

Taxicabs in a single country often share a set of common properties, but there is a wide variation from country to country in the vehicles used, the circumstances under which they may be hired and the regulatory regime to which these are subject.

Trip computer

A trip computer is a computer fitted to some cars; most modern trip computers record, calculate, and display the distance travelled, the average speed, the average fuel consumption, and real-time fuel consumption.

The taxicabs of the United States make up a mature system; most U.S. cities have a licensing scheme which restricts the number of taxicabs allowed. As of 2012, in the United States: the total number of taxi cab drivers is 233,900; the average annual salary of a taxi cab driver is $22,820; the expected percent job increase over the next 10 years is 16%.

Renault Taxi de la Marne Motor vehicle

The Renault Type AG, commonly referred to as the Renault Taxi de la Marne or Marne Taxi is a hackney carriage automobile manufactured by the French automaker Renault from 1905 to 1910. The name Taxi de la Marne was not used until the outbreak of World War I, when the fleet of Paris taxis was requisitioned by the French Army to transport troops from Paris to the First Battle of the Marne in early September 1914.

Taxis of the United Kingdom

Taxicabs are regulated throughout the United Kingdom, but the regulation of taxicabs in London is especially rigorous with regard to mechanical integrity and driver knowledge. An official report observed that: "Little however is known about the regulation by anyone outside the trade. The Public Carriage Office (PCO), which regulates and licenses taxis and private hire was transferred from the Metropolitan Police to become part of Transport for London in 2000." In 2015, there were around 298,000 licensed drivers in England, of which 164,000 were private hire licences, 62,000 were taxi licences and 72,000 were dual licences.

Taxis in Australia

Taxis in Australia are highly regulated by each Australian state and territory, with each state and territory having its own history and structure. In December 2014, there were 21,344 taxis in Australia. Taxis in Australia are required to be licensed and are typically required to operate and charge on a fitted taximeter. Taxi fare rates are set by State or Territory governments. A vehicle without a meter is generally not considered to be a taxi, and may be described, for example, as a hire car, limousine, carpool, etc. Most taxis today are fuelled by liquid petroleum gas. A2B Australia owns and operates the Cabcharge payment system, which covers 98% of taxis in Australia, and operates one of Australia's largest taxi networks.

Illegal taxicabs, sometimes known as pirate taxis, gypsy cabs, or jitney cabs, are taxicabs and other for-hire vehicles that are not duly licensed or permitted by the jurisdiction in which they operate. Most major cities worldwide require taxicabs to be licensed, safety-inspected, insured as for-hire vehicles and use taximeters and there may also be requirements that the taxi driver be registered or accredited. However, many unlicensed cabs are in operation. Illegal cabs may be marked taxi vehicles, and others are personal vehicles used by an individual to offer unauthorized taxi-like services. Illegal cabs are prevalent in cities with medallion systems, which restrict the number of legal cabs in operation. Since their introduction in 2009, vehicles affiliated with the transportation network company, Uber, have been classified as illegal taxicabs in some jurisdictions.

Flagfall or flag fall is a common Australian expression for a fixed start fee, especially in the taxi and haulage, railway industries and toll roads - for example Westlink M7. From the Australian mobile phone industry, the expression has recently begun to spread to other English language countries, as business jargon for an initial fixed fee for establishing each phone call. The logic behind is believed to be a method used by Australian mobile phone companies to recover a component of the carriage charges they incur in completing a call to a subscriber being the termination rates, based on the price terms and conditions for the mobile terminating access service (MTAS). The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission is reviewing these arrangements.

Taxi Type of vehicle for hire with a driver

A taxi, also known as a cab or a taxicab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice. This differs from public transport where the pick-up and drop-off locations are decided by the service provider, not by the customers, although demand responsive transport and share taxis provide a hybrid bus/taxi mode.

Taxis in India

Cars such as Toyota Etios, Maruti Omni, Mahindra Logan, Tata Indica and Tata Indigo are fairly popular among taxicab operators. The livery of the taxicabs in India varies from state to state. In Delhi and Maharashtra, most taxicabs have yellow-black livery, while in West Bengal, taxis have yellow livery. Private taxicab operators are not required to have a specific livery. However, they are required by law to be registered as commercial vehicles.

Its on the Meter

It's on the Meter – World Taxi Challenge was a round-the-world motoring expedition that broke the Guinness World Records for the longest ever journey by taxi and the highest altitude ever reached by taxi. The expedition's three-man team used a 1992 Fairway Driver London Black Cab to drive 43,319.5 miles (69,716.12 km) around the world.

Boro taxi

Boro taxis are taxicabs in New York City that are allowed to pick up passengers in outer boroughs and in Manhattan above East 96th and West 110th Streets. The color of boro taxis is apple green in contrast to the traditional yellow taxis in New York City.


  1. "taximeter". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Fourth ed.). 2000. Archived from the original on 12 July 2001. Retrieved 22 April 2015 via Bartleby.
  2. Fierro, Alfred, Histoire et Dictionnaire de Paris (1996), Robert Laffont, page 1166, ISBN   2-221-07862-4
  3. McArdle, Megan (2012-05-01). "Why You Can't Get a Taxi". The Atlantic . Retrieved 2015-10-02.
  4. Zax, David (2011-02-08). "Introducing the First Real Taxi Meter Innovation in 100 Years". Fast Company . Retrieved 2015-10-02.
  5. "OIML R21" (PDF).