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SZ unifies charging standards for cabs

SHENZHEN is introducing a new cab fare rule Friday that unifies the charging standards for green, red and electric taxis, replacing the old rule that was implemented about eight years ago. 

Under the new rule, the city will raise the distance price to 2.6 yuan (US$0.38) per kilometer from 2.4 yuan, while leaving the flag-fall price unchanged at 10 yuan for the first 2 kilometers. The rule will adopt a cascading fare system for the empty return fee of cabs running between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m., which charges an additional 30 percent for distances between 25 and 50 kilometers and an additional 60 percent for a distance exceeding 50 kilometers.

For cabs running between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., the driver can charge an additional 30 percent based on the flag fall price and distance price. 

The waiting charge of cabs remains unchanged at 0.8 yuan per minute and the charge for large luggage, weighing more than 20 kg or larger than 0.2 cubic meters, is 0.5 yuan per piece, according to a news conference of the transport commission Thursday.

The city will continue the mechanism relating a surcharge to fuel prices. The calculation is based on 5.21 yuan per liter and the surcharge will increase or drop 1 yuan when the price of No. 92 fuel increases or decreases within the range of 0.87 yuan per liter. 

The city will review the pricing mechanism every June and adopt a flexible system based on the operating costs of taxi companies, according to the rule.

The new rule is set to improve the city's cab service and improve the income of drivers, especially green cab drivers, as well as lay a solid foundation for the convergence of traditional cabs and app-based cabs. 

The new rule is estimated to bring an additional 1,498 yuan monthly income to a red cab, or around 750 yuan to a driver. For green cab drivers, their income could be increased by 2,555 yuan a month. The income difference between green and red cabs will be narrowed.

Challenged by app-based cabs and facing increases in operation costs, the service level and income of drivers continued to decrease and the old rule couldn't keep up with the developments. 

The income of red cab drivers was 5,851 yuan a month in 2016, 2,712 yuan less than it was in 2014, a drop of 31.67 percent. The monthly income of green cab drivers was 2,399 yuan in 2016, a 55-percent decrease compared with 2014. If the 1,000 yuan per month subsidy from the government and enterprises is included, the average income of cab drivers is still below the average monthly salary of 6,752 yuan of the city's on-job employees in 2015.

Low incomes have led to drops in service quality, such as riders being rejected by red cabs and ripped off by green cabs. 

The city currently has 84 companies and 31,757 drivers operating 18,457 cabs, including 10,297 red cabs and 5,869 electric taxis.

Source:Shenzhen Daily

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