Mumbai Bids Farewell To Its Iconic Kaali-Peeli Taxis After 60 Yrs; Will Go Off Roads From Oct 30

by Sanjana Shenoy
Mumbai Bids Farewell To Its Iconic Kaali-Peeli Taxis After 60 Yrs; Will Go Off Roads From Oct 30

A trip to Mumbai for tourists, a mode of transport for locals— kaali-peeli taxis are synonymous with the ‘City of Dreams’. For the first time in 60 years, Mumbai will bid farewell to its iconic black-yellow taxis as they go off roads from October 30. First, the BEST double-decker buses and now the kaali-peeli AKA Premiere Padmini taxi, the phasing out of Mumbai’s iconic modes of transportation is heartbreaking. Read on to know why you won’t be seeing kaali-peeli taxis on the roads of Mumbai.

Kaali-Peeli Taxis If Mumbai To Go Off Roads From Oct 30; Here’s Why

kaali-peeli taxis mumbai
Picture Credits: Canva

A picture of the city of Mumbai is incomplete without the kaali-peeli or Premiere Padmini taxis. It’s much more than a mode of transport. A living breathing symbol of the city, these taxis have a special place in the hearts of both tourists and locals alike. However, they will be taken off roads from Monday, October 30, 2023 onwards. This is because the age limit for cabs in the city is 20 years.

According to a report by WION, the transport department official revealed that the last Premiere Padmini or kaali-peeli taxi was registered at the Tardeo RTO on October 29, 2003. after 60 glorious years, the beloved kaali-peelis will bid adieu to Mumbaikars and the city of Mumbai.

Earlier, one of the largest taxi drivers union in the city Mumbai Taximen’s Union, petitioned the government to at least preserve one kaali-peeli taxi. Unfortunately, their efforts went in vain. As they vanish from the roads of the coastal city, the one place you’d find them is on murals on the walls of the city.

History Of How They Came Into Being

kaali-peeli taxis mumbai
Picture Credits: Canva

Premiere Padmini’s glorious journey began all the way back in 1964. While it was smaller in comparison to big taxis like Landmaster, Dodge and Plymouth, it held its own. They first launched the ‘Fiat-1100 Delight’ model, a powerful 1200-cc car featuring a steering-mounted gear shifter.

Its iconic black-yellow colour scheme of the taxis was a suggestion by Vithal Balkrishna Gandhi, the founder of the KHAKI Heritage Foundation. The freedom fighter turned MP had made valuable suggestions to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru regarding the Premiere Padmini cabs. In his opinion, the upper portion of the cabs must be painted yellow for visibility from a distance. And the lower portion, black, to conceal stains. So, that’s where kaali-peeli taxis in Mumbai get their colour and identity from!

Also Read: Mumbaikars, Catch The Last Ride On Our Beloved Double Decker Bus As They Are Being Phased Out!

A significant part of Mumbai’s cultural heritage, the Premier Padmini cabs often laced wishlist of eager tourists waiting to immerse themselves in the city’s heartbeat.

They made several appearances in Hindi films like the recent Khaali-Peeli headlined by Ananya Panday and Ishaan Khattar. And how can we forget the John Abraham-Nana Patekar starrer, Taxi No. 9211? Perhaps, the song from Taxi No. 9211,  “Ek Nazar Mein Bhi Pyaar Hota Hai”, aptly describes what one feels for Mumbai’s iconic kaali-peeli taxis.

Also Read: Double Decker Bhel Puri To Fluffiest Aloo Paratha, 5 Street Foods You Must Try In Andheri

Mumbaikars, are you as heartbroken to bid goodbye to Mumbai’s heartbeat, kaali-peeli taxis as we are?

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva

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