Stands are normally located at high-traffic locations such as airports, hotel driveways, railway stations, subway stations, bus depots, ferry terminals, shopping centres, and major street intersections. Usually stands are marked by simple painted signs.
Stands generally work as a first-come, first-served queue, so that the first taxicab to arrive on the stand (the one at the front of the line) serves the first passenger to arrive, and as the first taxicab leaves, each taxicab behind it moves ahead one spot, with the last taxicab to arrive taking the last spot.
In the Republic of Ireland an intending passenger is entitled to choose any taxicab that is available for hire at an appointed taxi stand. The Commission for Taxi Regulation has deemed that the customer has the right to choose and that the principle of first come, first served, is dismissed.
Some major stands are divided into separate queues. For example, at the Nagoya railway station in Japan, small- and large-capacity taxis line up separately; while at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Shanghai, short- and long-distance taxis use separate queues. In Hong Kong, different kinds of taxis line up separately, as some of their service areas overlap.
Taxicab stands can be used to recharge batteries of electric taxis.
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