Taxi fares are likely to go up again, which means an increase in the starting price, the per-kilometer charge, plus a charge for waiting time. But, are we sure this will really improve conditions for the drivers?
Beijing taxi drivers were known to be friendly and talkative with their customers, always willing to discuss any matter, and some of them still carry this passion for their job, but there is good reason to be unmotivated as well. Most of them work all day to see most of their earnings spent on levies.
Taxi drivers work 10 hours per day just to earn around RMB 4,000 every month. In the last seven years, the fare of taxis has not changed, but the income per capita has been raised 60 percent and the fees that taxis have to pay to the companies have increased as well.
Because of this situation, lots of drivers have stopped working during rush hour, since they don’t want to lose money in the traffic. The end result? It’s even more difficult to find a cab.
Will the rise of fare improve this situation? Logically, higher fares equals higher income for taxi drivers, but it’s not that simple. The taxi companies might as well increase the fees that drivers have to pay. Moreover, if the price gets higher, people might also be less willing to take a taxi and take a bus or the tube instead. The situation could actually benefit unlicensed taxies that are usually cheaper.
That’s why a rise in the fares cannot represent a permanent solution to the problem, unless there are some good premises, like the government preventing taxi companies to raise their fees or to steal the raise.
Source: Fare rise is partial solution
illustration from flickr user laskhgee124