When we think of a taxi, we usually think of the reliable sedans and estates that work as cabs all over Australia. But anything that someone can ride in can be a taxi, as a look at cabs from around the world will show. Here are some of the most curious cabs found around the globe.
Mexico City's Beetles
For years, Mexico City's green Volkswagen Beetle cabs were a symbol of the city. Manufactured at the VW plant in nearby Puebla, these two-door compacts often had the front passenger seat removed to make them easier to get into. They swarmed the streets, making up around half of the city's taxi fleet. The last of these distinctive -- if not amazingly comfortable -- cabs were finally retired in 2012.
Amsterdam's Tesla taxis
Electric taxis are becoming more and more popular, but it's more common to see economical electric compact cars than the larger, more luxurious Tesla Model S. That's exactly what will greet visitors to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, though; environmentally-conscious travellers will be able to book one of the electric cars in advance.
Norway's snowmobile cabs
Like the Netherlands, Norway is moving to replace more and more of the cars on its road with electric models. But what if you need to get somewhere an environmentally-friendly cab just can't reach? The answer is to take a snowmobile taxi. These rare but indispensable vehicles carry skiers to and from remote locations in eastern Norway's Jotunheimen mountains.
Massive vehicles that seat passengers on crowded benches, the Jeepneys of the Philippines can easily use their open backs to pick up and drop off passengers in crowded city streets. But what they're really famous for is their decoration: Jeepney operators plaster their taxis with colourful, often religious-themed art and dazzling chrome ornaments, competing to see whose can be the most eye-catching. Many Jeepneys even have distinctive names, often in the form of dreadful puns.
The world-famous tuk-tuk
Tuk-tuk is the Thai name for the auto-rickshaw, a three-wheeled, motorcycle-like contraption found all around the Pacific. These nimble vehicles can slip through dense traffic and have much less trouble parking in crowded cities than larger cars. These advantages mean that tuk-tuks are starting to spread to Europe and Latin America; there are even electric tuk-tuks being developed. As urban populations increase and electric power becomes the norm, the future of the urban taxi may belong to the humble tuk-tuk.