Cabs, drivers and cable car in front of the San Francis Hotel on Union Square
Waiting for a fare in front of the St. Francis Hotel at Union Square in San Francisco- photo by Charles Rathbone


The plan is to have very little text here, and a lot of pictures. Pictures of cabs and the cab business. Pictures that show a cab driver's view of the world. Pictures that show those of us in the industry how we are seen by others. Feel free to send your photos to Charles. I'm looking to showcase good photographs and other images that tell a story or that reveal some truth about our work.

Verifone MDT and Flywheel smartphone in a DeSoto Cab, San Francisco 2013
-Photo by Roger Corbett

A smartphone e-hailing app piggybacks on a taxicab's mobile dispatch terminal.

Signs at an SFO taxi stand
-Photo by Roger Corbett

Signs at San Francisco International Airport point to curbside parking spaces reserved for licensed taxicabs.

Orange-colored 2010 medallions next to turquoise-colored 2009 plates
-Photo by Charles Rathbone

A cashier at Luxor Cab reaches for one of the turquoise-colored 2009 taxi medallions. For a couple of days in late June each year, different-colored medallions briefly co-exist as the annual renewal takes place. The 2010 San Francisco taxi medallions are orange.

A Calcutta taxi driver in 1945
-Photo by Robert Keagle in the Digital South Asia Library

"Calcutta's taxi drivers were usually Sikhs. They were careful, treated their 1930s era vehicles like the antiques they were. Most cabs were open cars with cloth tops, which in decent weather ran with tops down. Spring 1945"

A woman horse cab driver comforts her horse
A woman horse cab driver (or possibly a model posing as a driver) comforts her horse in this postcard from early 1900s Paris. The image is part of the delightful Femmes Cocher collection gathered by Winnipeg librarian and former taxicab driver Norman Beattie. The series celebrates the early role of women in the Paris taxi trade.

Laurie Graham and passenger at the Golden Gate Bridge
-Photo by Richard Lesser

Driver Laurie Graham sends this photo of a sunny moment with passenger Cheryl Damico at Fort Point. The Golden Gate Bridge is in the background, along with Laurie's rear-loading ramp taxi.

Luxor driver Chuck Hawkins

Illustrator Bill Russell featured Chuck Hawkins on the "Taxi Driver of the Month" page of TODO magazine, which is distributed in San Francisco taxicabs. See more driver illustrations at Profile Reportage. Illustration copyright by Bill Russell 2007.

Copyright by
-Photo courtesy of

Yellow 831 begins the steep descent down California Street toward the San Francisco Financial District. This is a nice image linking taxis and San Francisco's unique geography. Drivers ought to be able to come up with a whole slew of shots that showcase our city and our taxicabs. Copyright by and courtesy of

A cab descends Nob Hill at night.
-Photo by Charles Rathbone

A cab at night leaves streaks of light and reflections on cable car tracks in this image taken from Nob Hill looking towards Chinatown.

A cab streaks through the honky-tonk district of North Beach.

Another entry in the cab-at-night category shows a view from near City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. A Luxor Cab streaks through the honky-tonk district of North Beach.

A big motor boat with the word TAXI painted on the side
-Photo courtesy of

Hmm, what to do when I retire? Spotted off Isola di Porquerolles, France in 2007.

Pearl, a painting of a Red-White Cab with passenger and driver
- Pearl, 57" X 72" acrylic on canvas by Lawrence Montgomery, 1984

The driver has a Bohemian look and the passenger is scowling in the evocative painting Pearl by Lawrence Montgomery. The scene is probably in San Francisco's Mission District, and the time is early-80s. Click here for more about the painting.

Iraqi police inspect a taxicab in Baghdad
-Photo courtesy of IRIN News Service

The photos on this page don't all have to be happy scenes. In this picture, Iraqi police officers inspect a Baghdad taxicab. In addition to the usual hazards of cab driving, at least two Baghdad drivers have lost their lives to suicide bombers using the cabs to get close to their targets. To read more about one of the toughest jobs in the world, see the article Iraqi taxi drivers risk death daily.

Cliff Lundberg
-Photo by Rich Koury
Cliff Lundberg founded the SFtaxi email forum.

These photos are in remembrance of two guys who would get a kick out of these pages. SF drivers Cliff Lundberg and Mike (Taxiglut) Sealey were long time contributors to online discussion of all things taxi-related. Both died way before their times. The photo of Mike is of unknown origin, possibly a wedding picture. Cliff is pictured in an Aloha shirt at a City Hall demonstration against Proposition Y in the early 90s (Among other things, Y would have imposed a dress code for taxicab drivers.)

-Photograher unknown
Mike Sealey was a taxi historian and auto buff.

That's all for now! Get your camera out and take some great shots to add to the Taxi-Photo page. Historical pictures and stuff from your scrapbook are also welcome.

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