Beijing confirms taxi fares to rise
Taxi fares in China's capital will rise but by how much has not been officially confirmed yet, Beijing News reported Friday.
A taxi driver may charge 15 yuan ($2.40) for a trip within 3 kilometers, and an additional 2.40 yuan for every kilometer beyond that. The price is currently 10 yuan within 3 kilometers and 2 yuan for every additional kilometer, according to a report last month.
Higher fees are charged if the trip is made at night and distance exceeds 15 kilometers, the report said.
Meanwhile, a number of measures will be issued to address the problem of the shortage of taxis in Beijing or problems hailing one.
Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport together with other departments held an internal forum on April 9 when the city's deputies and advisors discussed the problem faced by waiting passengers across the city.
In the past ten years, the number of Beijing taxis has remained at 66,000 while the permanent population doubles from 10 million to 20 million.
With worsening transportation and environment pollution, Beijing will increase the number by use double shift as well as an increase in electric taxis in the suburbs.
Despite the fuel surcharge, taxi fares have remained the same for many years in Beijing with numerous calls to raise fares. Beijing will decide the raise after holding a public hearing.
Yao Enjian, a professor with Beijing Jiaotong University, said the key to improve taxi availability is to let the drivers earn more as well as the passengers stand the price rise.
Meanwhile, a unified taxi telephone booking system will be launched. More than 200 taxi companies will be managed together by a smartphone taxi appointment app.