The Moscow City Duma has approved a bill in the first reading making it mandatory for new taxis registered in the capital from July 1 to be painted yellow.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin last week introduced a draft amendment to the law on taxi cabs that obliges Moscow taxis to be yellow.
Currently, of the 28,000 permits for legal taxi service in the city, only 2,500 vehicles are yellow, said Maxim Liksutov, the deputy mayor and head of the city’s transportation and development department.
“Yellow is the traditional color for taxi cabs; Muscovites and tourists are used to it,” Liksutov said, Interfax reported.
The relevant amendments will apply only to taxis registered from July 1; permits issued prior to that date will not have to be painted, Liksutov said.
The government also intends to introduce certain privileges for yellow taxis, such as permission to drive in bus lanes and yellow state license plates.
The current requirement for yellow taxis is already in effect in some regions of Russia, including the Amur region and the republic of Bashkortostan.
Moscow taxi service is expected to fully switch to yellow cars in the next three to five years, according to Stepan Orlov, the head of the Moscow City Council Commission on Urban Affairs and Housing Policy.
The color change will cost taxi companies 10,000 to 15,000 rubles ($300-475) for each car.