2013 Jan 26 Taxi Torment: What’s Driving It?
For once I agree with the Global Times: their headline “New rules won’t end taxi torment” is quite right. We all know how difficult it is to flag down a cab during rush-hour, i.e. between 5-7pm, and in some particular locations and time zones. If you’ve been on a night out to Nanlouguxiang or Houhai and are trying to get back home after 11pm, good luck in trying to find a cab take you home for the mandated price. I would estimate ninety per cent will try to gouge you. The same at the train station: once I came back from a visit to Tianjin on the last train. The drivers stood at the exit like a gang of striking pickets, demanding outrageous prices (around RMB200 for an on-fare RMB40 journey), and preventing non-gouging drivers from picking up passengers reluctant to be scalped. Fortunately a five-minute walk down the street took us (I was with my wife and young daughter, and it was pouring rain) into the vicinity of fare-accepting drivers and we got home fine. But more often I am left stuck – working in CBD and regularly needing to attend evening events, I often have to accept glorified scooters, black cabs and gouged fares in order to get to a venue without being outrageously late. No chance for a fapiao either!
For the problems that continue to plague Beijing taxi drivers and riders, head to Agendabeijing.com.