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Melbourne's evolution via the humble taxi

Like them? Loathe them? The taxi has been part of the Melbourne streetscape for over a century and have been subject to as many changes as Melbourne itself. Some readers would have only even known a local taxi to be a familiar shade of yellow thanks the 'war' waged by then Premier Jeff Kennett during the mid 1990's.

It turns out the humble taxi has a varied and interesting history in Melbourne, well beyond the pale yellow form we now associate them with. With that in mind a new exhibition will commence this Wednesday at Melbourne Town hall visualising the highs and lows of this form of transport that began way back when in 1909.

A new exhibition at City Gallery will transport audiences on a journey from 1909, when the first motorised taxi was introduced in Melbourne, to the present day.

Curated by Christine Eid, Hello Yellow explores Melbourne’s taxi story and includes photographs, placards from taxi driver protests, a taximeter, a 3D installation and other artefacts from the City of Melbourne’s Art and Heritage collection.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said taxis are an important part of Melbourne’s story. “Taxis are a vital component of Melbourne’s transport system and hold a special place in our history,” the Lord Mayor said. “The Hello Yellow exhibition chronicles this history and offers a unique insight into the stories behind the wheel.”

Chair of Arts and Culture Councillor Rohan Leppert said City Gallery is a great space where people can find out the untold stories of Melbourne. “From the story of Melbourne taxis, to Melbourne’s gardens in 1940’s, the history of the city’s signs to the Royal visit – City Gallery gives a fantastic insight into the stories that make Melbourne such an interesting and culturally rich city. I encourage Melburnians and visitors to stop by and take a look,” Cr Leppert said.

City of Melbourne media release: Take a ride into the story of Melbourne’s taxis

While the RMIT-led Taxi 2020 concept may remain just that for the foreseeable future, all things relating to Melbourne's taxi industry past and present are on display this week at Melbourne Town Hall.

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