Photo Of The Day

Photo: English Russia. St. Petersburg, Russia: Now you can get a taxi ride on a BRDM vehicle, that can go on the water as easy as it goes on the paved road. No joke – a company has fully certified some of the BRDM’s  be used as city taxis. One of the good sides of this – you not always need a road to make a shortcut to your destination.

Photo: English Russia.
St. Petersburg, Russia: Now you can get a taxi ride on a BRDM vehicle, that can go on the water as easy as it goes on the paved road. No joke – a company has fully certified some of the BRDM’s be used as city taxis. One of the good sides of this – you not always need a road to make a shortcut to your destination.

A Safer Taxi

Should you ever take the time to visit the city of St. Petersburg in Russia, don’t freak out if a red military vehicle chances to cross your path. It might look rather scary, but we can assure you that this vehicle is not a threat to your safety. In fact, you might even find it quite useful. Just as long as you are desperate to reach one destination or another and a run-of-the-mill yellow cab is nowhere in sight, that is.

That’s right, the red military vehicle that we have in mind, featured in the photo accompanying this article, is actually a taxi. A taxi that packs a machine gun and that looks nothing like all the other vehicles of this kind that we are all too familiar with, but a taxi nonetheless.

English Russia reports that one company got an official license to use ex-army BRDMs as city taxis. These were originally scouting vehicles and are made for any and all forms of terrain, floating their way across rivers and four-wheeling over everything else. Their slogan is “A Safer Taxi,” which might explain the large roof-mounted guns.

When manufactured by Soviet Union workers several decades ago, the red taxi was known as the BRDM-2 Combat Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle. True, it’s former name was quite fancy, but as it turns out, the vehicle was well worth this distinction. Thus, word has it that, when it left the workshop where it was put together, the former BRDM-2 Vehicle carried a 14.5 mm Vladimirov heavy machine gun together with a 7.62 mm Kalashnikov’s tank machine gun.

When the vehicle’s owner first started thinking about turning it into a cab, authorities in Russia told him that there was no way they would ever grant him permission to move forward with this wacky extreme makeover plan. Still, they eventually changed their mind.

In a nutshell, the BRDM’s owner was told that, as long as he painted the military vehicle any other colour than the green and brown used for camouflage, and deactivated the guns fitted on it, he could turn it into a cab.

You have to admit that being driven around in a former Soviet military vehicle is way cooler than exploring the city of St. Petersburg while chilling on the backseat of a conventional yellow taxi. Besides, there is little doubt that this former military vehicle is way more spacious than a regular cab. Add to this that it is an amphibious vehicle and can carry people across bodies of water such as Russia’s Onega Lake, and it should not come as a surprise that folks love and adore it.

By the looks of it, the only downside is that just one ride has a price tag of $100. What’s more, word has it that, because of its size and weight, the vehicle is not allowed to travel up and down streets in St. Petersburg’s historical centre.

The word on the street is in Saint Petersburg at night time the bridges across the Neva open, to allow ships to pass. This is very inconvenient for people enjoying city nightlife and wanting to get back home. It looks as though this service enables people to get home rather than sit in a queue to cross a bridge and get home. Kinda cool.

BRDM are initials for Boyevaya Razvedyvatelnaya Dozornaya Mashina, literally “Combat Reconnaissance Patrol Vehicle”. The BRDM is a four wheeled amphibious vehicle which is very lightly armoured by today’s standards. Both versions were produced in the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries. Both versions came in an ATGM variant. The BRDM-2 also came as a command vehicle and as an air defence vehicle.

Check out English Russia for more pictures
 


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  • cows4me

    Be good in the Countdown carpark too, anything backing into that is going to come off worst for wear, no panel beating charges either.

  • ex-JAFA

    I’m not sure how really practical it’d be. St Petersburg’s canals are already fairly crowded anyway, and there didn’t seem to be many (any?) boat ramps or similar places where a vehicle could transition from land to sea – certainly not near Nevsky Prospekt, anyway.

    Mind you, my observation skills may have been somewhat diminished, as I spent most of my several days there trying to drink the place dry of Baltika 9.

    • DemocKot

      you are right, not too many ramps close to the city as such more down the coastline. Great machine for the mud as well….

  • Mark Chapman

    Imagine hitting the Sylvia Park Boxing Days sales in one of those – awesome !

  • intelligentes candida diva

    I love it

  • Bob D

    What one looks like after it’s been hit by a Ratel’s 90mm cannon, or at least so I’m told. So watch out for heavier-gunned taxis.

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