Toyota Prius taxis in Tokyo

Granted, I tend to ride taxis to work and back more than I like to talk about (especially in winter Brrrrrr). But I balance the impact on the environment by riding my bike to work the other days… Maybe I should only ride Prius taxis… but in more than 2.5 years in Tokyo, I have only seen one.
Well, until this morning…

It was stopped in the traffic in front of my building. Not the latest model, but a Prius nonetheless. And the fare was starting at only 500yen. A bargain! The driver was really nice and chatty; I gathered that he works for ECO TAXI, a company with a fleet of only 20 similar taxis. There was a cool animation on the dashboard monitor showing at any moment which engine (the electric or the gaz one) was powering the car.
Anyway, tonite after work, I made my way to the taxi station and BAM! There was another Prius at the top of the line! A black one, new model. Talk about a hidden message (I work for Honda R&D)… This one was from a company called ASSIST, and there are only 10 of them.
So in 1 day, and 2 fares, I managed to ride 2 of the only 30 Prius taxis that are working in Tokyo. hahaha and I also got a great idea for a novel speed meter for my work while riding the Prius in the evening. Thank you Toyota!

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    Based in Paris & Tokyo, Paul Baron is a senior product manager for hire. Ex-@AQworks. Co-founder of cultural platform Tokyo Art Beat.
    Service design, interaction design, startups, user research.
    Posts a few times a decade since 2003.

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