CHINA> Regional
Shanghai mulls raising rush hour taxi fare
By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-05-06 08:50

SHANGHAI -- Taxi passengers in Shanghai could be forced to pay higher fares during rush hours, it emerged Tuesday.

The municipal government announced it is to carry out a full study into the raising of tariffs.

The authority could also reinstate booking fees, cancel the late-night tariff and revise the fuel surcharge, said the transport and port bureau of Shanghai.

The move follows a proposal by Tu Haiming, a member of the Shanghai municipal standing committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), to raise taxi fares during the annual sessions this year.

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But the authority assured no changes would be made before a full round of public hearings is completed.

The announcement has met an unsurprisingly mixed response among passengers and drivers.

"Passengers already pay more during rush hours because of the bad traffic (taxis charge a reduced rate when stuck in road jams), raising the fares even higher is unreasonable," an office clerk surnamed Zhang said.

Driver Zhang Bo disagreed but admitted the government should carry out a study to divide days in to "peak, low and flat hours" before raising the tariff.

However, research highlighted by Tu in his proposal said 75 percent of passengers and 50 percent of taxi drivers felt the late-night tariff, which begins at 11pm when the standing charge rises from 11 yuan ($1.6) to 13 yuan, should be scrapped.