As a London taxi driver Many a discussion has been had by me with punters and fellow cabbies as to what is wrong with our trade & how can we improve it. As you can imagine many discussions have been long & could probably have been spoken about forever with no solution, but the one topic that crops up for me every time is our identity.

What is it ? What are we actually known & recognised as ? What do you as drivers tell people you do for a living ? Licensed London taxi driver or Hackney carriage driver. The Real answer that everyone all over the world understand is I am a black cab/Taxi driver.   yeah ? Where ever you are in the world you can see from your answer 99% of the time the understanding & recognition of what you do. Fantastic !
The recognition & respect our trade has over the world has stemmed from 360 yrs of serving LONDON & it’s commuters, so much so it’s iconic to London and its landscape.
So our iconic brand as the world knows it is the London black taxi ! . Tourists come to London from far and wide to experience a ride in a black cab or take a photograph of the iconic black cab !
Nowadays we are no longer just black, but white, blue, red, silver, brown, purple & every other colour of the rainbow. Plus we now also have our cabs dressed up like Christmas presents as mobile billboards promoting every other business other than our own. Here lies my problem. Since the introduction of these different colours or vinyls I feel this has had a diluting effect of our identity. No longer are we just a black cab/taxi trade, but a mixture of a technicolor paint choice.
How many times do you see people looking at liveried cabs not knowing if they are a cab or just a fun advertising promotion. Also seeing punters walk past a red cab to the black one behind. Some of you will say never ever seen that, but it is true because I have seen it and experienced it at first hand in my 20yrs of driving a cab.
Il ask you this, if you took a photo of 200 black taxis lined up behind each other across park lane. What would you see ?
 
(Old photo I know but it shows what I mean )
Again if you did the very same with same number of all multicoloured taxis, what would you see in that.

 (Again a little example of what I mean )

The first one would shows me identity, unity, all as one, a smart world recognised brand.
The second would show me, diversity individuality, fragmentation & ugly unprofessional look
We as a trade have allowed our iconic brand to be diluted, weakened. Companies have jumped on our iconic status and have used it to promote other businesses to the detriment of our trade, whilst making thousands from it, & With a pittance going back into our trade. They have dressed us up & weakened & affected our true identity.
You don’t see New York yellow cabs, pink or blue do you ?
 
Even Addison Lee have 1 colour as their identity. Yep you’ve guessed it…. Ours….Black ! (You don’t see silver, red, or blue galaxy’s or mercs of them )
We as a trade need to reclaim our identity. Strip back the different colours & liveries and get back to what the world recognises us as… Black Taxis !
Use Our iconic brand to promote us, just us, Our service, Our business !
We may be individuals as people but we are all part of the one trade ! The Black Taxi/cab trade. Not the silver, blue or red taxi trade, but Black !
One trade, One colour, One Identity !
Thank you for taking the time to read this, some will agree with me & some won’t. We all have an opinion (obviously mine is right. Haha 😀) so please let us have your feedback. It’s Good to talk !