Whenever an individual pictures Bombay (now Mumbai) in their minds, the only thing that mostly pops up is the iconic ‘kaali-peeli’ taxis i.e., ‘Premier Padmini’ taxis.
When a movie is shot or someone clicks a photograph in Mumbai, we can guess the location in a few seconds without reading the captions or any further explanation if we get the tiniest glimpse of these taxis but not anymore as the black-and-yellow taxis have been bowed out from the city’s streets to give way to newer models and app-based cab services following the path of retirement recently taken by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport’s (BEST) legendary red double-decker diesel buses, reports stated.
It is learned that the last Premier Padmini taxi was registered as a black-and-yellow taxi on October 29, 2003, and as the age limit of cabs in Mumbai is 20 years, the city officially stopped having these taxis from October 30, 2023, i.e., Monday.
The owner of the last registered Premier Padmini taxi of Mumbai (MH01 JA 2556), Abdul Kareem Karsekar was quoted by Hindustan Times saying, “Yeh Mumbai ki shaan hai aur hamari jaan hai” (it is the pride of Mumbai and life of mine).
It has come to the fore that the transition comes shortly after the phasing out of the last iconic diesel-powered double-decker buses in the fleet of public transporter BEST undertaking due to the end of their 15-year codal life.
Meanwhile, the retirement of the iconic taxis has left the city’s transportation enthusiasts heavy-hearted with some demanding that at least one Premier Padmini taxi be preserved on the road or in a museum.