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The history of cabs in France

Lumineux de taxi sur le toit d'une voiture garé devant un panneau Taxi.

Cabs since 1637!

It’s hard to imagine, but the first available carriage service was created in 1637. 20 years later, during the reign of Louis XIV, the profession was first regulated. Louis XIV issued 600 authorizations for the use of carriages in the capital. Each vehicle will be equipped with a number. Over the years, legislation has been tightened, and the number of vehicles has grown steadily. In 1820, for example, there were more than 2,000 carriages circulating in Paris for around 750,000 inhabitants. At the time, there were 104 parking spaces reserved for cabs.

Electric cab

Contrary to popular belief, the electric car is not an invention of the last decade. Indeed, the first electric car, or rather the first electric carriage, was tested for the first time in Paris in 1897. It could carry up to 3 people at a speed of 20 km/h. However, it was not sufficiently profitable and was abandoned in 1902. The story doesn’t say whether, at the time, the electric cab was invented out of concern for the environment and to protect the planet.

Cab fares

In 1909, customers had to be informed about cab fares. It was at this precise moment that the taximeter appeared. It allowed pricing to be based on distance travelled and vehicle occupancy time. It was precisely on this date that the word “cab” was born. Two years later, cab drivers staged their first strike to protest against new taxes on benzol, the fuel used at the time. Finally, in 1914, over 1,100 Paris cabs were requisitioned to ferry as many troops as possible to the front for the war.

Cab and Vtc

In 2015, the Thévenoud law was created in response to claims by cab drivers that VTC platforms were illegal and unfair. This law made it possible to set up a system where only cabs have a monopoly on marauding, while VTC drivers can only pick up customers by prior reservation. The law also makes the use of a credit card payment terminal compulsory for cab drivers.