Transportation is such an everyday experience for people around the globe, we often take it for granted. Here are a few things you might not have known about the transportation services you’re using every day.
Wilma Russey leads the way
Russey was the first woman in New York to work as a taxi driver. She began her driving career more than a century ago, on January 1, 1915. On her first day, groups of men lined up near her taxi, eager and honored to be her first passengers. Prior to being a taxi driver, Russey was an impressively good mechanic. She was also known for her style. While driving her taxi in the city, Russey wore black leather gloves and a leopard-skin hat.
A shepherd’s cloak?
The word limousine traces back to a region in France called Limousin, where shepherds wore long cloaks. The first chauffeurs wore similar cloaks, and their vehicles were named after the region in France, likely because their hoods of the car were similar to the hoods of the cloaks.
Cuba’s classic cars
It’s estimated that Cuba, a country of 11 million people, has more than 60,000 pre-1960 cars on its streets. That’s because of a 58-year embargo against the country. Cubans even use these classic cars in their taxi fleets.
A fun fact about flying
According to the aviation data company FlightAware, there are 1,270,406 people in the sky at any given time. That’s roughly the population of Dallas. What’s more, a good chunk of that population is likely flying over the United States, as one-third of the airports in the world are located here. That’s a lot of airport pickups.
Limousines are just cooler
The first air conditioning units for vehicles were built by the New York-based Packard Motor Car Company in 1939 for limousine and luxury cars in New York and Chicago. It was an optional cost — one that rang in around $274 — and the clunky system took up most of the space in the trunk. It was a short-lived technology that went through many changes before being reintroduced en masse in the early 1950s.
California’s electric vehicles
California has made itself one of the country’s biggest supporters of electric vehicles, with more than 15,000 charging units, more than any other state. By population, California is the largest state and it has almost seven times as many electric-vehicle stations as the second largest state, Texas.