Taxi fare rise unavoidable
The flag fall for taxis has risen by HK$2. Some cabbies are happy about the increase, but others are worried it will drive away passengers.
However, I can't see anything wrong with it. There is inflation in every area of life. The fare increase was inevitable. An increase of HK$2 is not going to stop people who can afford to take a taxi from doing so.
Firstly, taxis are the most comfortable means of public transport. Those who take them are willing to pay for that comfort. Especially in summer, when the weather is hot and the streets are crowded, a taxi will be their first choice.
Secondly, when you need to reach your destination urgently - for example, so as not to be late for school - a taxi is the fastest way. Taking a cab is also a good way to get to an unfamiliar place.
People need time to accept the change. It is not surprising that passengers do not want to pay more for cab rides.
But, as we have seen, taxis have many advantages over other modes of transport, so it will be difficult for people to stop taking them completely. Cabbies should not be pessimistic.
Kathy Poon Hoi-yi, Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Kathy. You are quite right; there is no need to get upset about the taxi fare increase. In most workplaces, employees hope for an increase in their salary, at least to cope with rising prices. True, this does not always happen. But the taxi drivers also need to cope with inflation. They need a 'pay rise', too.
Hongkongers like to make a fuss about any sort of price increase. But, as you say, taking a taxi is a luxury, and to those who can afford it, the HK$2 increase in the flag fall rate will not make much difference.