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January 25, 2022, 10:03

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Cargo taxi for the delivery of furniture to the population. Photo by V. Petrovich. November 1970 Main Archive of Moscow

The history of this type of urban transport for Moscow began in the mid-30s of the XX century.

In January 1946, cargo taxis returned to the streets of the capital. In Glavarkhiv there are historical documents telling about them.

The history of this useful type of urban transport for Moscow began in the mid-30s of the XX century. The city became larger, many enterprises and houses were built. Thousands of specialists came with their families to work in the capital’s plants and factories, while they sought to improve their living conditions. Due to the constant moving, there was a need for a transport suitable for this.

Already in 1933, Soviet car factories mastered the production of an unpretentious and reliable lorry – the GAZ-AA truck. Soon, many metropolitan fleets had them, and by the beginning of the 40s, more than two hundred such taxis could be seen on the streets of the city.

Uniform tariff and form

During the war years, most of the truck fleet was sent to front-line roads, the remaining lorries were used in the rear for labor tasks. With the advent of peacetime, the need for mass transportation of things of the townspeople increased again. In 1945, the population of Moscow grew by almost half a million. The new year 1946 was marked by the decision of the Moscow City Council “On the resumption of the work of a freight taxi to serve the population of the city of Moscow.” This document laid the foundation for a new organization of cargo taxis in the city.

According to the decision of the Moscow City Council, it was necessary to open a special fleet of cargo taxis from January 23 and give it the name “2nd Taxi Park”. Now all transportations of things of inhabitants were made within the limits of one enterprise. Lorries, which by March 1946 was supposed to be 210, were equipped with taximeters. In addition, they introduced a single urban tariff for the transportation of goods, which did not exist before the war – five rubles per kilometer and 25 rubles per hour of downtime at the client’s. All employees of the taxi fleet got a uniform, and their work began at 06:00 and ended at 01:00.

Citizens could order cargo transportation by phone or at specialized truck taxi ranks, where dispatch centers were equipped. It was also possible to make reservations at the parking lot on a first-come, first-served basis. Household items, furniture and firewood were allowed to be transported. It was forbidden to transport anything that soiled the body of the car: coal, lime, alabaster, as well as explosive, poisonous and flammable substances.

There were 11 cargo taxi ranks in the capital. They were located in the busiest places: seven at the station squares and one each on Danilovskaya Square, Vosstaniya Square, Taganskaya Square and Krestyanskaya Zastava Square. Signs informed about their location, and for the convenience of serving the population, the police allowed the parking of cargo taxis in all squares of Moscow and their unimpeded passage through the streets, usually closed to freight traffic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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