'Arrest me? I'll offer free rides if I want'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2007, 12:00am

Taxi drivers should be allowed the flexibility to offer discounts to boost business, said driver Peter Wong, whose business turnover is over HK$1,000 a day.

'We must get more customers in order to make money,' he said. 'What is the point of sitting in an empty cab for long hours? If we insist on collecting every penny from our customers, most will not opt for taxis.

'I don't understand why some of those drivers have to be so stubborn, and even accuse us of running an illegal business and stealing their customers. I am just trying to get more business. They can do the same.'

Despite rising oil prices, Mr Wong said there was still room for taxi drivers to make a profit despite offering discounts to passengers.

'The turnover for my business is about [HK]$1,000 every day. The amount clearly proves that there is a strong demand for my service, and offering discounts to customers is good for them and also good for me.'

Mr Wong, who has been offering discounts for four years, was not worried about being caught by police.

'How can officers arrest me for just offering discounts to my customers? I can even offer my passengers free rides if I want to. Why should I be considered a law-breaker?'

The government should not interfere in the business practices of the taxi industry, he said. 'I don't see why the government has to conduct a consultation about this all of a sudden.'