Beijing To Get Rid Of Taxi Fuel Surcharge

Who thought this day would come. Taxis are about to get less expensive in Beijing.

One yuan per fare, to be exact. With fuel fares dropping globally as oil prices hit five-year lows, the irksome fuel surcharge, which due to poor labeling and explanation led tourists to think they were being shaken down for baksheesh, will be removed, starting January 21.

Taxis are due to have their meters recalibrated on that date, so for the first time in years, the metered fare will be, shockingly, the metered fare. We will see how smoothly this all goes.

“Adjustment of taxi meters will take place from Thursday to January 21. During the period, passengers still must pay the surcharge if the taxi’s meter has not been adjusted,” a Xinhua News Agency report stated. In that case, we expect drivers will insist their meter has not been adjusted until sometime in 2017.

Taxi drivers in other cities have been protesting low incomes in other cities, something averted in Beijing when taxi fares rose in 2013. A Wall Street Journal article from Wednesday implied that ride-hailing apps were one of the reasons for the drivers’ discontent. However, this makes no sense: non-taxi services like Uber don’t serve enough cities or have enough drivers to make a meaningful dent. And if the number of people standing around for the empty cabs that pass by in Sanlitun, or Hujialou, or Shuangjing, or anywhere else in the city on any night of the week are an indicator, the demand for taxi services certainly has not dwindled.

Source: Shanghai Daily