Beijing is to raise its taxi fuel surcharge from one to two yuan (30 US cents) from Saturday to help with rising fuel prices, Beijing Times reported Friday.
The increase was announced by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development and Reform who said passengers will be asked to pay the extra charge for journeys over three kilometers.
The base rate will remain 10 yuan ($1.45).
Beijing introduced the one yuan taxi fuel surcharge in November 2009 when the price of 93 gasoline rose from 6.5 to 7.1 yuan per liter.
Local officials said the initial fuel surcharge would be lowered when the price of gasoline dropped lower than 7.1 yuan per liter. The current price of a liter of 93 gasoline is 7.85 yuan.
They also pledged the city’s bus service and passenger prices would not rise and great effort would be taken to maintain the price of food products, cooking oil and vegetables.
Most taxi drivers said they preferred to raise fares rather than the fuel surcharge. While others worried the rise would lead to fewer passengers, and the best way to manage the problem was by reducing taxi rental fees or government subsidies.
Taxi companies maintain the one yuan rise will not affect customers or passenger numbers.
Some passengers believe the rising cost should not be paid by the customer, while others offered understanding.