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Updated: 2013-05-10 07:06

(China Daily)

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The difficulty in catching a cab 打车难 (da che nan)

It is becoming increasingly difficult to catch a taxi in Chinese cities, especially the big ones. As a result, complaints against taxi services have increased manyfold.

According to a 2012 Chinese Academy of Social Sciences survey, 8.48 percent of the respondents in Beijing said it takes them more than half an hour to get a taxi while 45.29 percent said they spend between 10 and 30 minutes to catch one.

It is most difficult to get a taxi during the peak hours when roads are very congested. While many taxi drivers simply refuse to pick up passengers, some choose them according to their destinations. The situation worsens during inclement weather.

Besides, an increasing number of non-registered cabs have complicated the matter further. Data from Beijing's bureau of transportation show that there are about 67,000 registered taxis and more than 200,000 registered taxi drivers in Beijing. Although most of the taxi drivers in Beijing are forced to work extra hours, they take home less than the average wages.

A series of in-depth problems in the taxi service sector is responsible for the situation. It's time the authorities reformed the profit-distribution and management systems in the taxi service sector to ensure cabbies earn enough money to live a life of dignity.

(China Daily 05/10/2013 page9)