Beijing to hike taxi fares
Updated: 2013-05-07 23:31
BEIJING - Taxi fares will rise in Beijing in an effort to address drivers' complaints over low income and thereby make it easier for the public to hail a cab, Beijing municipal authorities announced on Tuesday.
According to the plan released by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, the base fare will go up from 10 yuan (1.6 US dollars) to 13 yuan for the first 3 km.
Meanwhile, the rate per km after the first 3 km will rise to either 2.3 yuan or 2.6 yuan from the current 2 yuan, according to the plan.
Beijing taxis currently add a 1- to 3-yuan fuel surcharge for trips over 3 km. The amount of the surcharge varies with the current price of fuel. Under the new plan, the surcharge will be fixed at 1 yuan.
A taxi driver surnamed Liu said he worried that people may prefer public transport systems to taxis if more fees were charged.
"As the price of fuel keeps rising, I can understand why they plan to raise the taxi fares," said a female Beijing citizen surnamed Wang. But, she added, she will try not to hail a cab and choose subways or buses instead if the fares increase.
To encourage taxi drivers to get behind the wheel in the morning and evening rush hours, the waiting fee charged during traffic jams will also be increased to a rate of 2 km per five minutes from the current 1 km per five minutes.
The fares for booking taxis will also be increased from the current 3 yuan to 5 yuan if the reservation was made within four hours ahead of the departure; otherwise, 8 yuan will be charged for the reservation, under the plan.
The capital has not hiked taxi fares since 2006, said Li Sufang, an official with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform.
The fare rise will motivate taxi drivers to work so as to provide more available taxis for people to take, Li added.
The plan will be discussed at a public hearing on May 23 before its implementation.
Beijing is home to 252 taxi operators and 1,157 individual cab drivers that collectively run 66,646 vehicles, carrying about 700 million passengers annually and accounting for 6.6 percent of the city's transport.