FŐTAXI legends. No.1
How the Drost device worked
Autotaxi, as the predecessor of today’s Főtaxi, already in the early stages of its establishment, regarded the most important mission of the company to set up a telephone booking system in Budapest. The company professionals studied telephone devices in major cities throughout Europe.
There was an apparatus found in Hamburg by which the number of vacant cars at each taxi rank of the company could be registered. The devices, developed by a German engineer called Tivadar Drost, were implemented by Autotaxi at 40 ranks in just few years.
What was the purpose of the Drost device?
With the help of its use, taxis at the stations were equally sorted. When booked by phone, cars were immediately sent to passengers from their nearest station with no complications.
How did the Drost device work?
When there were no taxis around, the passenger inserted some coin into the device and pressed the speaker button thus getting through to the call-center operator of the company. The passenger, using a funnel shaped radio speaker, could book a car from the call-center operator, who gave details about the pick-up time and even the station from which the car would be sent.
Upon arrival at the place of booking, the taxi driver removed the one korona coin from the device with his tool so that he could consider it when charging the fee.