It has a rainbow bus and a rainbow crossing – and now London has a rainbow taxi to add to the mix.
Transport for London has unveiled the specially-designed new taxi ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on Sunday.
It’s the in a string of moves designed to celebrate the local LGBT community, following TfL’s temporary rainbow crossing rolled out to celebrate last year’s Pride – and a special rainbow bus that was unveiled in March, which is still in use in the capital.
Not to be outdone, cab driver Ian Beetlestone suggested decorating his cab in a rainbow theme – and TfL approved the idea.
Mr Beetlestone will operate the cab as normal – as part of a partnership between TfL and ad company Ubiquitous.
It will be in service from today ahead of IDAHOT on Sunday 17th – and both the taxi and the bus are expected to have a presence during this summer’s Pride parade.
Mr Beetlestone said: “Gay cabbies are like gay footballers – you know statistically there must be some but you rarely hear about them.
“I wanted to stand up and be counted. I’ve dreamed about driving a rainbow cab and am thrilled to have made this dream a reality with the help of TfL and Ubiquitous.
“As we mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia this Sunday, I want everyone to know they are welcome to hail a ride in our iconic, beautiful vehicle.”
Despite appearances, the cab will be more than just a gesture – also providing passengers with information about how to report homophobic and transphobic crime.
Martyn Loukes, Chair of TfL’s LGBT staff network group OUTbound, said: “We are incredibly proud to have helped bring London’s first rainbow taxi in service to the Capital’s roads, joining our fabulous rainbow Routemaster which has proved a huge hit with our customers.
“Having a traditional black cab, which is famous all over the world, wrapped in a rainbow flag shows what a truly diverse city we are.”
Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, said: “This project further strengthens the bond between London’s LGBT community and the taxi trade. It is wonderful that an iconic taxi is being specially wrapped to celebrate IDAHOT.