In the United Kingdom, a hackney carriage is a taxicab licensed by the Public Carriage Office in the London Metropolitan Area or by the local authority in other parts of the country.
They were originally Hansom cabs, horse-drawn carriages that operated as vehicles for hire. Today a hackney carriage is a taxicab that is allowed to ply the streets looking for passengers to pick up, as opposed to private hire vehicles sometimes called minicabs, which may only pick up passengers who have previously booked or who visit the taxi operator's office.
In most of the country hackney carriages are conventional four door saloon cars but in London (and some other cities) hackney carriages are specially designed vehicles manufactured by Manganese Bronze. These vehicles are designed to take up to 6 passengers in the back, and hold luggage in the front next to the driver. Some modern designs can also accommodate wheelchairs in the back.
They were traditionally all black in colour and are popularly known as black cabs. Despite the name, other colours can be observed -most frequently when large groups of cabs are resprayed in vivid brand liveries as part of advertisement campaigns.
In London, Hackney Carriage drivers have to pass a test called The Knowledge to demonstrate they have an intimate knowledge of London streets.
The first Hackney Carriages were licensed in 1662, and were at the time literally horse-drawn carriages. During the 20th century these were generally replaced with cars, and the last horse-drawn Hackney carriage was withdrawn from service in 1947.
The name derives not from Hackney in London, but from the French word haquenée, referring to the horse that was pulling it. The New York terms "hackstand" (taxi stand) and "hack license" (taxi license) likely derive from "hackney carriage."
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hackney carriage". You can explore more on the Wikipedia website. The text and the images are used here only for educational purposes.
Questions about the text
Más ejercicios para practicar inglés
Intermediate English Reading and Comprehension
Este libro contiene diversas lecturas con ejercicios para estudiantes de nivel intermedio. Es ideal para incorporar vocabulario, mejorar la comprensión y aprender estrategias de lectura. Ver más
Fast Forward Reading
Diseñado especialmente para estudiantes de nivel intermedio y avanzado, este libro incluye técnicas prácticas para leer más rápido, recordar más y comprender mejor cualquier texto. Ver más
English Reading: 10 Passages for English Learners
Un libro práctico con 10 lecturas para estudiantes intermedios, con ejercicios de comprensión que ayudan a prepararse para exámenes internacionales como TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS. Ver más
Descubre el origen de las palabras en
The Story behind the Words
Great Tales from English History: The truth about King Arthur, Lady Godiva, Richard the Lionheart, and more!