(Top to bottom: a photo from Tour de France, rush hour Shanghai, from Copenhagen Style, and lastly Omer Sagiv’s Izzy City bike)
I have mentioned before that the taxi is my favourite car. It is a stress-free form of transportation that does not regularly break the bank. However, the taxi is not a guilt-free replacement for the automobile. It is the bicycle that will help offset a huge part of our carbon emissions.
The Izzy City bike is the perfect example of how design can make the world a better version of itself today. The beauty of the bike would make non-cyclists want to commute to work, weather permitting. The two-wheeled beauty is made of plastic. Though not made of material that would make the eco-gods smile down (or up) at us, let’s play a game of give-and-take. The plastic that was used to make the bike would easily be offset through the life of the product. No other such commodity comes to mind.
Omer Sagiv‘s Izzy City Bike is a great way to reconnect with the cityscape, in a stylish manner. The more we incorporate smart design (see: self-locking mechanism on his design) into our lives, the more we get use to the purpose and function of all that surrounds us. We will be April fools no more.
The taxi is my favourite car, hands down. Without a care in the world, with my own space in the back, the taxi is the best compromise between public transportation and a private vehicle. I have taken taxis in at least a dozen countries and it is the same convenience factor that the car lends to its patron.
Taxis are so cheap in Paris because no one takes taxis. Who are the chumps that take taxis? The lucky ones who manage to find one and after lining up for 10 minutes. Drivers do not stop for anyone. Anyone who has lived in la Ville Lumière can attest to the fact. 6 EUROs can get you from Notre Dame in the 5th to Place de la Concorde. 12 EUROs from Belleville to the 7th. That’s like the equivalent of going from Kennedy station to Kipling in Toronto!
London and Amsterdam are the most expensive cities for taxis. Congestion on Oxford Street or Picadilly could be reasons. Maybe Dutch drivers charge a different rate for non-Dutch speakers. The London taxis are misleading because of they appear small but can actually hold up to 5 people just in the back. It’s like a circus act, you know, when twenty clowns would start exiting the backdoor of a VW Beetle.
New York City is the city where convenience, rate and quickness come together to make a taxi-rider’s heaven. The honking (which, by the way, can be fined $250US) slowly blends into the sounds of the surroundings, becoming white noise. To get from Greenwich to Uptown is change.
Toronto taxis are on the pricey side. How I wish that $4 was not the starting cost of a ride. I remember when $2.50 was the norm until the price of gas went up a couple of years ago. Guess what, guys? The price of gas went down. Toronto taxi drivers are quite open to conversations, I must say. It must be hard to have to follow strangers’ directions as part of the job, not to mention the risk of sharing a small confined space. I have heard horror stories of people with weapons, dashing out without paying, etc. Say hello to your taxi driver next time! They are people. They get bored.
Taxis are my favourite car, hands down. Nothing screams luxury like a car waiting for you, a courteous driver and knowing that for the moment, I will be home shortly. Don’t forget to tip.