Lisi Powers
Creative Copywriter
Frequent Flyer
Archive: April 2014
April 29, 2014

A few weeks ago, we took a peek into the history of Taxis in New York City. Let’s continue our historical exploration this week, as we look further into how taxis evolved through the middle of the 20th century. This was a time where everything was changing rapidly, and it’s interesting to see how changes within society molded the way the automotive transportation industry grew.

As we’ve seen in our own lifetime, it takes a bit of time for our laws and regulations to catch up to emerging technology. Just as we have had to establish and enforce laws about cell phone use while driving, people living in the 1930s had to craft legislation to suit the taxi industry, because it presented scenarios that had never been an issue before. There were no labor practices in place specific to cabbies, which often led to their exploitation. Furthermore, with newness of taxi transportation, unsuspecting passengers easily fell victim to price gouging.

There was tremendous competition between taxi drivers during the Great Depression, because fares were few and far between. Both the police and the Taxi Commission were having difficulties curtailing the corruption and the tension amongst cab drivers. A dramatic reveal at the time was the Checker Cab Company’s bribery of the then Mayor, James J. Walker. In response, 2,000 taxi drivers protested in a tremendous strike in Times Square. The Haas Act of 1937 was subsequently signed by Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, which instated the need for official taxi licenses and the medallion system that New York still enforces to date.

The medallion system is meant to limit the number of licensed taxis on the road, so that the government can better maintain the quantity and quality of cabs on the road in Manhattan. The medallions are small plates that attach to the hood of each taxi, and a limited number of them are available for sale every year, with a pretty hefty price tag. The exclusivity of the medallions is meant to ensure that the people who obtain them are truly invested in the industry, and are more likely to do their jobs well. However, while the intention was to improve wages for taxi drivers, the medallion system gave a tremendous amount of power to a number of large fleet owners, which didn’t always work out in the cabbies’ favors.

By the middle of the 20th century, there were nearly 12,000 taxis in service in Manhattan, making them an integral part of the day-to-day commute for many New Yorkers. Even though New York City had one of the earliest and best subway systems, in addition to busses, trains, and ferries, the taxi industry still thrived. In the ‘60s, it was decided that in order to limit the number of unofficial taxis in operation, they would paint all of the official taxis yellow so they stood out.

Check back with us for the conclusion of the history of taxis in New York City!

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April 22, 2014

Easter is a great time to get out and enjoy the springtime with your family and friends. There are so many events going on in the area for you to attend, and it’d be a huge shame if you missed out on some weekend fun because you didn’t know about it! That’s why we decided to pull together a list of Long Island Events this weekend and throughout the Easter season.

Bayville Adventure Park First Annual Easter Event

Who doesn’t love the Bayville Adventure Park and their festive events that run throughout the year? The answer is no one, of course. This year, they’re hosting their first Easter Eggstravaganza, which started last weekend and will continue this weekend (April 18-20) from noon to 5pm. There will be Easter egg hunts at noon and 3pm, and children will get bags to collect their eggs in, and can redeem them for candy and prizes at the end. There’s also a Golden Egg to find, which contains a special prize! The Bayville Adventure Park is open for Easter Spring Break from April 11-22 from 11am to 10pm every day.

Story Time Easter Egg Hunt at the Lakeview Library

If you’re looking for Long Island events today, grab the kids and head over to the Lakeview Library in Rockville Centre. Kids in grades K-6 are invited to search the library for hidden Easter eggs tonight (4/17) from 6-7pm. Kids 2-7 aren’t out of luck—there’s an entirely separate event for them on Friday morning from 10:30-11:30, where they’ll get to listen to stories and do some crafts, then hunt for eggs! The Lakeview Library requests that parents register for these events in advance by calling (516) 536-3071 or visiting the library.

Eggstravaganza at Baldwin Park

If your kids are crafty, you’ll certainly want to get down to Baldwin Park this weekend. From 9:30-10:30am and 11:30-12:30pm, kids from 5-12 are welcome to join the fun in the park, where recreation instructors will gather to guide the children through a number of creative projects. The event is free to attend, but parents are asked to call (516) 546-4481 to register. This Spring Program meets on Saturdays, and will run until May 31.

Egg Hunt at Eisenhower Park

If you’re looking for even more fun things to do in Long Island this weekend, check out the Egg Hunt in Eisenhower Park! Festivities start at 8:30am on Saturday (4/19). In addition to the Egg Hunt, there’ll be bouncy rides, a magician, face painters, live entertainment, and you can even have your picture taken with the Easter Bunny! There will be a whole variety of food and beverages, as well as activities for people of all ages. The Egg Hunt will start at 11:15am for kids 4 and under, kids 5-8 will join in at 11:30, and kids 9+ will follow suit at 11:45am. You don’t have to do anything to register in advance, just show up, and it’s free! Registration begins on-site at 8:30am!

59th Annual Vintage Car Parade in Garden City

On Easter Sunday (4/20), everyone’s favorite Vintage Car Parade will begin rolling through Garden City at 1pm. It begins in Parking Field 9E at 10th Street and Franklin Avenue, and continues south on Franklin to 7th Street. The parade comes to a close at Hilton Avenue. Assembly for the event begins at 10am, and spectators are welcome to come early and enjoy all of the festivities before the parade begins.

This Easter Weekend is sure to be a blast at any of the great events on Long Island this weekend—whatever you decide to do, snap a few pictures to share with us on Facebook at All Island Transportation!

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April 15, 2014

There’s something so picturesque about Spring in The City. It’s finally time for us to shed a layer or two, put our winter coats and boots away, and get out and enjoy everything that comes along with springtime. And what better way to do that than to explore all the festivals that come our way this time of year? If you’re looking for ways to have some fun in the sun, we’ve got a list of great places to do just that!

Spring Events in NYC That You Won’t Want to Miss!

The Jazz Age Lawn Party

Now that Gatsby is all the rage, so much that “Modern Gatsby” is on Macys’ Spring Trend radar, it’s the perfect time to mosey on down to Governor’s Island for this prohibition-era soiree. In 2011 and 2012, the Jazz Age Lawn Party was named one of the most memorable events of the year by New York Times. Learn to Lindy Hop and have your vintage portrait taken while your junior gents and flapperettes win prizes at the carnival games all across the lawn. There’ll be fashion shows, a Charleston competition, pie contest, and so much more! The party will be held on two separate weekends; June 14 & 15, and August 16 & 17. For more information, visit the Jazz Age Lawn Party website!

The Amazing Fleet Week Scavenger Hunt

For four hours, participants of the Amazing New York Scavenger Hunt Fleet Week race throughout the city to solve clues and overcome obstacles on their quest to complete as many tasks as possible. In honor of the sailors, marines, coast guardsmen, and other sea service members that Fleet Week is meant to commemorate, the scavenger hunt has a maritime theme to it, too. The scavenger hunt is operated digitally, through an app called Scan-Quest, and every team needs to have at least one smartphone in order to participate. Register on the Amazing Fleet Week Scavenger Hunt event page; the hunt takes place on May 25!

The Tribeca Film Festival

After 9/11, the Tribeca Film Festival began to promote the cultural and economic revival of Lower Manhattan. This annual event is the highlight of the year for many innovative filmmakers who look forward to showcasing their latest work. This year’s program will feature crowd-pleasing blockbusters-to-be, provocative documentaries, foreign films, shorts and free outdoor screenings, with a slew of panel discussions and lectures to boot. There’s something to please every film buff’s palate, so make sure you don’t miss this springtime must-see from April 16-27!

What Spring events in NYC are you looking forward to the most? Let us know on Facebook! And, as always, if you need a ride to the train to get into NYC, or you’d like to skip the hassle and take a luxury sedan directly to your destination, All Island Transportation is here for all your transportation needs! Call 516-742-2222 to book your reservation today, or check our homepage for our location nearest you!

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April 8, 2014

In a world that spends countless hours attached to technology, it’s easy to look to the internet when you’re thinking about the best advertising strategy for your company. Banner ads, sponsored Facebook stories, sponsored tweets—these are all valuable ways to share your message with a broad audience. But when it comes to the lowest cost per thousand views (CPM), you may be surprised to learn that the most cost effective advertising strategy is Taxi Top Advertising!

The average daily commute for Americans is 25.5 minutes one-way according to the US Census Bureau, and at the beginning of this year, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that 128.3 million Americans are commuting to work. Furthermore, 10.8 million of those commuters are traveling an hour each way, and 600,000 are traveling ninety minutesone-way! One thing is for certain: that is a lot of time spent on the road. What happens when you’re out on the road? You take in everything around you. With 5.15 million Long Islanders out and about every day, that is a whole ton of eyes that could be seeing your advertisements passing them by.

So we know there are a lot of people on Long Island, but who’s seeing taxi ads? The better question is “who isn’t seeing taxi ads?” For starters, taxi advertisements are at eye-level for most adults, so when there’s a taxi nearby, it’s almost impossible not to see the advertisement on the rooftop. Taxis are visible to virtually everyone—pedestrians see them as they walk through the streets, drivers and passengers see them on the road and at traffic lights, and rail commuters see them at the stations. Taxis go where people go; if there’s a place where people are working, living, shopping, or playing, you’re bound to find a taxi there.

Renting a billboard could cost you a whopping $30,000 for one month, and that billboard is going to stay right where it is, visible to the same crowd, day in and day out. The beauty of taxi rooftop advertising is that your ad is constantly in motion, and is always being shown to new audiences. A single taxi cab travels an average of 2,000 miles every week, and is in service anywhere from 18-24 hours each day. Our illuminated taxi top signs allow your ad to be seen no matter what time of day our cabs drive by. Taxis are what is commonly called a ‘demand-led medium,’ which means that they follow the crowd wherever it goes. Your glowing ad on top of an All Island Taxi or its affiliates driving down a street full of packed nightlife spots at 2am will certainly be seen more than that billboard hanging above a desolate overpass.

Are you ready for your business’ reach to expand exponentially? Call All Island Transportation today at 516-326-9090 ext. 303 to learn more about how to ad taxi rooftops to your advertising strategy!

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April 8, 2014
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April 4, 2014
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April 1, 2014

In 2014, we’ve come to rely on taxis for a multitude of reasons: they take us to the train, to the store, to the doctor; we use them for business to transport clients; we use them for leisure when we go out for a few drinks so we get home safely. If you need to get from point A to point B, you know there’s always a taxi nearby to get you there. But the taxis we know today are distant relatives of the first taxis that rolled out onto the streets in 1890. There’s a lot more history in the lifetime of the taxi than most people know; in this three-part series, let’s take a look at taxi evolution over the last century!

Taxis in 1890

The most popular vehicle for hire was the horse-drawn carriage, but as cars began popping up across the country, they quickly began competing with the carriages for NYC fares. By 1899, there were nearly a hundred battery-operated cabs on the streets of Manhattan, with many New Yorkers hoping that these newfangled contraptions would provide a faster, cleaner, and quieter way of getting around. The batteries in these electric taxis weighed around 800 pounds, making them somewhat impractical, but they grew in popularity anyway.

Taxis in 1900

At the beginning of the 20th century, France was leading the world in automotive production, and was responsible for nearly half of all the automobiles being made across the globe. The New York Taxicab Company imported 600 gasoline-powered cars from France. The cars were red-and-green-paneled, and provided a fresh face for the newest city transportation system. The use of the taximeter, invented by Wilhelm Bruhn, to measure the distance/time of a car journey in order to calculate a fare, caused the taxi industry to explode. In 1904, the US took the title of largest automobile manufacturing country from France, which contributed to the taxi industry’s rapid expansion. There were thousands of independent drivers and half a dozen large fleets operating in NYC over the first two decades of the 20th century, but taxi clientele was still predominantly upper-class, because rates were about $0.50/mile.

Taxis in 1920

The 1920s was a time of great industrial prosperity for those who knew when and how to act on it. The financial potential of the taxi industry was glaringly obvious to a number of industrialists at the time, who heavily invested in its expansion. General Motors, the Ford Motor Company, and other major automotive manufacturers owned most of the leading taxi fleets, but there was one “little guy” who made it through and proved to be extraordinarily successful. Young Russian immigrant Morris Markin founded the Checkered Cab Manufacturing Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1922, which ultimately wound up supplying the majority of NYC taxicabs. The Checkered Cab Manufacturing Company produced the iconic yellow and black taxis that are globally recognized as “American taxis.”

Stay tuned for our next installment of The Taxi Timeline! Do you have any questions about the history of taxis? Ask us on Facebook, and we’ll be sure to find the answers!

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