Mexico says goodbye to Beetle taxis

Mexico City is getting ready to say goodbye to one of its most striking features - the iconic Volkswagen "Bug" taxis.

The "Vocho" has long been an informal symbol of the capital city, but the cab licences of the last of the old-style Beetles are due to expire at the end of 2012.

Just six years ago there were around 50,000 Vochos on Mexico City's streets, making up almost half of the taxis at the time.

Now there are fewer than 3,500 of them among the city's 130,000 taxis.

The director of taxi services for the city's transport department Victor Ramirez said time has run out for the classic VW design that evolved from the original Beetle of 1930s Germany.

Because of rules brought in in 2003 favouring four-door taxis, the Beetles that entered service in 2002 are the last to operate as cabs.

Copyright Press Association 2012