The first thirty years
Taxi servicing was first launched in the capital on 1st June in 1913 with 25 Marta make cars that were already equipped with taximeters. These first Martas and then the Megamobiles or so-called “lollipops” later were supplemented with Fiat cars by the company.
In the 1930s, Autótaxi company, for trip rides mainly, also acquired some stylish black 2200 and 3600 cm3 Fords. In the next 30 years, the company and its subsidiaries were in possession of nearly 100 cars and 92 buses.
Building up the Drost system (named after Tivadar Drost), booking a taxi by phone became reality, first introduced in Budapest in all over the world.
The car booked by phone was always sent from the nearest rank where the order was made to the client. The efficiency of the call center was increasing fast. The initial 18 calls a day rose to 4,500 by the beginning of the 1940s.
The second thirty years
After the second world war Autótaxi continued its operation with 122 cars as MOGÜRT Autótaxi National Company. As Private Taxi Operator License was gradually withdrawn, Autótaxi was then dominating the whole Taxi market.
In 1947, the car park was renewed with Renault cars. These cars were first set up with the red and white lines of checkered patterns as their distinctive indication.
The company was nationalized in March, 1948. As the result of further development, Skoda 1102 was brought onto the market. The company was taken over by the Metropolitan Council in 1951, and it received the name Metropolitan Autótaxi Company (Főtaxi).
In 1960, the number of cars and taxi stations rose over 900 while the number of stations with phone facility reached 100. In the 60s there was a significant improvement in the life of the company. The growing demand required new sites to be built, and the scope of activities were also expanding when, among others, car rental were introduced. The call center as well as the Kerepesi road building had to be extended.
On the 60th anniversary celebration, our cars were fitted with VHF equipment in order to raise the level of service. These taxis functioned as mobile traffic controllers, constantly driving along the streets, looking for any needs to take immediate action. More than 2,500 qualified drivers and nearly 1500 cars were available in the rush hours.
The third thirty years
Reliability became the main virtue and philosophy of the company when, in the 1960s, it was gradually losing monopol position on the taxi market. Private cars were running again on the roads from the year 1982. Despite the changes and different conditions Főtaxi always believed that it was important to offer simple, comprehensible fares in order to retain the confidence of the people.
In 1993, the State Company turned to a Public Limited Company.
In 1997, FŐTAXI renewed its car park by preserving the yellow image. The fleet of 200 modern, uniform image, air-conditioned cars with large boot luggage capacity greatly contributed to the undiminished popularity of these so-called checkered pattern taxis.
In recent years there has been some changes in the company’s profile as the „classic” car hire has been replaced with long term lease. The company-owned cars were soon sold and the drivers as entrepreneurs have been using their own cars since then. Currently, taxi services are operating in a franchise system geared to market requirements.
The year 2010 played a significant role in the life of the nearly a hundred years old Főtaxi Zrt., as it won the tender announced by Budapest Airport. Thus, Hungary’s longest established taxi company has the rights to have been transporting its esteemed and valuable passengers between the Airport terminals and Budapest since 7 December 2010.
Besides the favourable tariffs BA made its decision based on the reputation and reliability, as well as fair business manners and guarantees of the high quality service of Főtaxi Zrt.
These days FŐTAXI Zrt. is offering taxi transportation services with around 800 cars mostly in the capital city and its agglomeration. Owing to the size of our taxi fleet and the expertise of our staff we are ready to serve our customers needs in a fast and precise manner in not more than 3 to 10 minutes even in daytime traffic.
Főtaxi was the first taxi company to be awarded with the Qualified Taxi Operator Certification as defined in the decree of the General Assembly of the Municipality of Budapest.