Spotted in Hong Kong – The Taxi Cab

Posted: January 31, 2011 in Spotted
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Typical Hong Kong Taxi - Toyota Crown Comfort YXS10

Seeing as this is my first installment of Spotted, I thought it would be very fitting to pay tribute to the modest taxicab that runs around Hong Kong in abundance.  Although there are several models being used throughout the region, the most popular seems to be the Toyota Crown Comfort YXS10.

First released in 1995, the Toyota Comfort was designed for use as a taxicab in Japan.  The long wheelbase version of this car, the Toyota Crown Comfort, was then exported to Hong Kong in 2001.  The main difference between the two versions is that the Crown Comfort has an extra seat in the front, allowing the taxi to carry 5 passengers, excluding the driver.  The Crown Comfort also has automatic doors and a 4-speed automatic transmission, which only became standard in 2004.

All Hong Kong taxis ran on diesel fuel until the late 1990s, barring the 4-passenger taxis that ran on petrol.  In 1996, a few taxis were introduced that ran on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as part of the government’s test project for alternative fuels.  This experiment proved successful, and now all new taxis have been factory-built LPG since 1999.  Today, diesel taxis cannot be imported and it is actually illegal to drive a taxi running on diesel.

Red - All areas; Green - Parts of the New Territories; Blue - Southern Lantau Island

Taxis in Hong Kong operate in different areas, and as such are colour coded.  Red taxis have the highest fares, and they serve all areas of the New Territories, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.  Green Taxis are the second most expensive and only serve parts of the New Territories.  Lastly, the blue taxis run exclusively on southern Lantau Island, the airport and Disneyland.  There are not many of these, as they only serve a small area.  Not familiar with Hong Kong regional geography?  Click here.

The history behind Hong Kong’s taxicabs is a long and interesting one, dating back to the 19th Century.  If you feel the need to educate yourself a bit further on the subject, click here.

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Comments
  1. Jorge says:

    Liked this article on Hong Kong taxis…you forgot to mention as well that a number of these taxis come equipped with a “fuel saving accelerator device” requiring the driver to constantly press and pump the pedal on and off resulting in a sickening stop start motion…uunless of course, it is simply bad driving…

  2. madmotoring says:

    I heard that they do this not because it “saves fuel”, but rather that it somehow makes the fare meter tick over faster… Either way, it doesn’t make for the most comfortable ride sometimes!

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