Friday, 29 March 2013

A Brief History of Transportation over the Ages

Every century has seen drastic improvements in the traveling capacity of human beings. It all started with the taming of the burro, horse, or ox as transportation means. But as horizons widened so did human capacity to create new ways of transit. Before the beginning of written history, there was development of log rafts and canoe to facilitate trading along the Yellow River, Danube, the Nile, the Tigris-Euphrates, the Indus, and other famous waterways. Later, the invention of the sailboat brought along by the Phoenicians and Chinese significantly enhanced the commerce of early civilizations. These ships had the capacity to make steady progress even if the winds were slow. When it came to land, the main innovations were the development of roads, and post roads to keep letters and message moving at high speeds.

The Great Nineteenth Century
By the end of the nineteenth century, all speed records were broken, and new modifications were made to the existing methods of transit. There was also the application of steam power to begin rail road operations. Apart from better speed, these locomotives possessed one outstanding capability: the capacity to carry extremely heavy loads at very high speeds. Hence, in places where navigating waterways were not accessible, the items that were too heavy to be carried by dray-wagons were shipped by railroads.

Twentieth Century
If the nineteenth century was known for steamships and railways, the twentieth century became the age of airplanes and automobiles. Once again, the speed of transportation increased. However, one of the main results of this revolution was the construction of roads. The new cars had a tough time tackling the mud. Also, their speeds and weights demanded a tougher surface. Throughout 1920's, almost all the main roads in America and Europe were paved, and the automobiles became the major mode of transportation.

Twenty First Century
At the same time, other revolutions in public transportation were underway, both on in the air and the ground. A basic form of vehicle control was released with aircraft autopilots. Gradually, with the development of sophisticated computer technology true autonomy was achieved. Due to advancements, there was also lowering of maintenance costs for automobiles and aircrafts.

Major ways of public transportation today:

Yellow taxis: Yellow taxi cabs were originally started in Chicago, Illinois. Today, there are several private companies that offer this service throughout the United States. Some companies boast of fleets of sophisticated taxicabs connected with hi-class dispatch systems that ensure the cabs reach on time. These cabs also have credit card machines to ensure ease of payment.

Bus services:
Bus services have been playing a big role in providing public transport. These services can take several different forms, varying in kind of buses used, distance covered, routes and schedules followed. The buses may also be operated by private or public agencies, and be offered using fleets of varying sizes.

Metro:
Metro is essentially a passenger transport system used in the urban areas. This rapid transit system is normally located underground or on elevated viaducts. The trains used are extremely fast and have the capacity to carry large number of people across stations. The largest rapid transit system by the total number of stations and length is in New York City.

Civil Aircrafts:
Civil aircrafts can be categorized into general and commercial. Commercial aircrafts are designed for carrying mail, passengers, and other cargo. While general aviation, on the other hand, is used for private and commercial use.

The history of transportation developed with the progress of human culture. From walking tracks to domesticated animals and from small boats to automobiles and major aircrafts, transportation has come a long way in making life easier and in globalization.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Original Yellow Taxi Cab Company

Taxi cabs have been around for centuries, from comfortable limos or sedans to horse drawn carriages of the yester years, all of them with the purpose to transport people from one destination to another. However, there is no public transport more popular than the great yellow taxi, a vehicle that has become symbolic of the long and colorful history of the United States. Interestingly, most people think that yellow cabs originated from New York, but the fact is original yellow taxi company was started in Illinois by a car dealer, several years ago.

The History:
The original Yellow Cab was started by John Hertz in the year 1915 with spare used cars that came to him through his car dealership. Hertz hired a team of experts to come up with the right color. Ultimately, after a lot of deliberation, it was determined that yellow would be the most noticeable hue on the streets. This day began a tradition that is being followed even today.

Contributions
Color choice, however, was not the only accomplishment of Hertz. His company also installed the first traffic light on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. In fact, the government was so happy with the improvement in traffic that they repaid Hertz for the cost of installation and expanded the program further. Hertz used the most sophisticated equipment in his cars, including, automatic windshield wipers, Firestone balloon tires, wider rimmed wheels, and the like. It is believed that the use of new tires assisted the business in achieving so much success. And even today, it is one of the largest taxicab companies in the United States.

History Of Debauchery
During the 1920s the Yellow Taxi Cab Company was involved in several illegal activities involving the mobsters. It also had a bitter rivalry with its competitor Checker Taxi which led to several deaths, shootings, and firebombings. In 1925, Hertz sold off the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company to GM, General Motors. He then sold the remaining interest in 1929. Yellow Cab Co. was later purchased by Morris Markin, the founder of Checker Cab Manufacturing Company.

The Various Owners
Yellow Taxi Cab Company has changed corporate hands several times over the years. However in 2005, Michael Levine bought controlling interest of the company for good. Since then Yellow Taxi Cab and its sister concerns have grown to be more than two thousand five hundred vehicle fleet, diversifying into the suburbs and beyond state lines. Levine along with his partner had also bought the Checker Taxi, to join up the two companies again. Yellow Cab ultimately split into multiple companies across the nation sustaining the Yellow Cab name.

After all these years, the business has continued its tradition of modernizing its machines and dispatch system. Apart from wipers and stoplights, Yellow Taxi Cab Company was also the first company to fit seat belts at the back of the taxis and the first to make use of antilock brake systems. The provider was known to have the first digital dispatch system, and even today it boasts of automated call answering, digital dispatch system with GPS, and instant credit card swiping machines. Yellow is also coming up with eco friendly ideas by testing greener vehicles like Toyota Scion and Ford Escape hybrid.

Yellow Cab has been giving great service to the country not only through its taxis but also through its charitable contributions. It is involved in several charity and civic organizations in the city of Chicago. It has underwritten an English speaking course for drivers across Chicago City Colleges, supported several programs and initiatives for city youth, offered scholarships to drivers, their children and spouses, and supported various aid organizations in the Chicago land area.