This post deals with the design of a taxi rank and how to reduce the pollution created by idling and edging foroward. A few answers suggested that making the taxis switch to hybrids, or even better electric vehicles, would help the whole situation! (a smart bunch :-)

If taxi drivers were able to charge their electric vehicles whilst they waited in line for a fare this would be a great incentive for them to go electric. If you can regularly charge your EV then you don't need such a large battery because you will need less range. Having a small battery is more efficient because it will reduce weight.

How can you design a taxi rank that would enable taxi drivers to charge their vehicles at the same time as waiting for a fare?

(I would be interested to know if this has been implemented somewhere in the world already)

  • Inductive charging.
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 14:28
  • @Erik interesting :-) is it available now? Also I think it would require the taxi to be stationary to charge so maybe could be incorportated to the solution below?
    – atreeon
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 14:43
  • Meh, actually the project I knew was scrapped a week ago: electrive.net/2019/11/12/…
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 14:52
  • As a programmer I know to avoid getting too excited about new tech! but thank you (promising none the less)
    – atreeon
    Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 16:22
  • @Erik here is a new scheme in London regarding wireless charging and a taxi rank...could be interesting to see how it develops but I think the vehicles need to be stationary for the charging to effective and efficient so a solution similar to my answer below may still be required taxi-point.co.uk/single-post/2019/02/14/…
    – atreeon
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 5:46

4 Answers 4


You could have a number of electric charging booths dedicated to taxis which consist of a parking space and an electrical charging point.

We allow a maximum of 3 taxis to wait directly outside the station in the 'pick up area', this is the only area where customers are allowed to enter a taxi. The remainder of the taxis must wait in the parking spot where they are free to charge their vehicles.

The two barriers, one at the entrance of the primary rank and one at the exit record how many taxis are inside the pickup area.

When a taxi driver parks in a charging booth they press a button to tell the system they are waiting for the next available space in the pickup area. When a space in the pickup area becomes available a sign on the electrical charging point instructs the taxi driver who has been waiting longest (first in queue) to proceed to the pickup area.

4    *    1    5    2
πŸš•       πŸš•   πŸš•   πŸš•  

-   -   -   -   -   -     ⛩️  πŸš‰   πŸš•  πŸš•  πŸš•   πŸš‰  ⛩️
_____________________         pick up area
         πŸš•   πŸš•  
*    *    6    3    *

as a space becomes available a taxi leaves its charging spot

3    *    *    4    1
πŸš•        ↓   πŸš•   πŸš•  
-   -   -   β†’ β†’ β†’ β†’πŸš• β†’ β†’ ⛩️  πŸš‰   *   πŸš•  πŸš•   πŸš‰  ⛩️
_____________________         pick up area
         πŸš•   πŸš•   
*    *    5    2    *

I think this provides a mechanism for taxis to charge their vehicles for the maximum duration they will be waiting, it will also regulate the order in which the taxis pick up passengers. It will also provide a mechanism for taxi drivers that do not have electric vehicles to queue without idling and without the 'edging forward' that results in additional pollution and fuel costs as described in the other post.

  • This of course is very similar to the solution to the previous question, because in both cases we want to minimise the number of moves each vehicle makes. It also works with current charging systems, making it much more practical than the alternatives (although there are serious attempts at inductive charging for buses)
    – Chris H
    Commented Dec 19, 2019 at 7:47

I'll re-suggest my answer to your previous question (https://sustainability.stackexchange.com/a/9679/4155):

Use the numbered ticket system sometimes found in supermarket deli counters. Each arriving taxi takes a sequentially numbered ticket (which could easily be electronic using an app of some kind), and parks up in a parking area.

When a passenger arrives, they press a button, and the next number is called, and the taxi with that number then pulls up to the pick up area to collect the passenger. The button-pushing could alternatively be done automatically by a sensor noting the previous taxi leaving, so that the passengers don't have to do anything, or wait.

E.g. A taxi arrives and gets ticket 31. They see that number 25 is displayed, so they know that there are 5 taxis ahead of them, and that taxi 25 is waiting at the pick up area. A passenger arrives, and 25 takes them and goes - 26 is displayed, and the taxi with that number goes up to the pick-up area.

In a busy area, you could have the same system for passengers - they too take a ticket, with the same number on it, so the passenger with ticket 23 gets the taxi with ticket 23...

Another variant could use a camera to read the licence number of each taxi as it enters the holding area, and use that instead of issuing a ticket.

With that, once each taxi arrives on the rank it doesn't need to move again until it's turn comes, and so could remain plugged into the charger.


The taxicabs could be electric-vehicles powered by hydrogen-fuel-cells because the taxicabs can plan on using a centralized fueling station. Here is one vehicle: https://www.hyundaiusa.com/nexo/index.aspx .

If battery-powered electric-vehicles must be charged in a taxi line then they could have an overhead sliding device to plug into.


Use a ground level power supply, some light rail systems already use the system.

Basically, it would require incorporating an electrified rail in the taxi rank. The taxis would have to be modified to have a pantograph type device to be lowered onto the electrified rail. As taxis advance in the rank they are in continuous contact with the electrified rail. When they exit the rank they raise the pantograph and just use their battery.

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