Green light for Beijing cab fare hike
Updated: 2013-06-07 07:10
By Zheng Xin (China Daily)
Beijing will raise taxi fares from Monday in a bid to improve drivers' income and address complaints about poor service and cab shortages during peak times.
The starting fare will increase from 10 to 13 yuan ($1.60 to $2.11) for the first 3 kilometers, and the fare per subsequent kilometer will go from 2 to 2.3 yuan, according to the much-debated plan by the Beijing Development and Reform Commission.
The reservation fee is 6 yuan when passengers book four hours in advance and 5 yuan within four hours, while the fuel surcharge is 1 yuan per ride.
Authorities said on Thursday the reforms will boost operation efficiency, as well as the attendance rate during rush hours.
Cabbies are expected to see an annual income increase of 1,400 yuan, the commission said, and passengers will pay an extra 3.3 yuan a ride on average.
Some residents said they support the fare hike, which they believe could ensure a ride, especially during rush hours.
"It's worth an extra 3.3 yuan to get to your destination on time," said Zhao Kunyun, a 29-year-old accountant.
The changes have been made based on views from all sides, the commission said.
At a public hearing in May, 23 of the 25 representatives supported the plan, which included hikes in the starting fare, waiting fees and reservation fees.
The commission said it takes 20 days to have taxi meters adjusted and the city will adopt two charge levels in the meantime. Taxi companies will cover the cost of changing the meters, it said.
In addition, passengers will receive a receipt covering fuel surcharges and reservation costs instead of separate invoices.
(China Daily 06/07/2013 page6)