Harry Allen

City Living, History, Transportation

Metered NYC taxis turn 110 years old this month

By Michelle Cohen, Fri, August 4, 2017

Image via Wiki Commons

110 years ago on August 13th, one of the cornerstones of New York City life, the first metered taxicab, rolled into the city’s streets. The metered fare idea was born, fittingly, in 1907 when Harry N. Allen was smacked with a five dollar fare ($126.98 in today’s dollars) for being driven a quarter of a mile in a horse-drawn hansom cab. Allen imported 65 gas-powered cars from France, painted them red and green, and started the New York Taxicab Company. The elven hues were replaced by the iconic yellow shortly thereafter so they could be seen from a distance, and a year later 700 cabs were nowhere to be found when you wanted one.

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