• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 6:52pm
NewsHong Kong
TRANSPORT

Hong Kong taxi drivers push for fare increase as costs rise

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 January, 2013, 7:38am
 

Poll

  • None at all: 61%
  • Under 5%: 14%
  • 5-10%: 17%
  • over 10%: 8%
11 Jan 2013
  • None at all
  • Under 5%
  • 5-10%
  • over 10%
Total number of votes recorded: 450

Urban taxis are seeking a HK$2 flag-fall fare increase, as they say inflation has made it harder for them to make ends meet.

They are also hoping to increase the fare by 10 cents for every extra 200 metres. The taxi unions will meet the Transport Department this month to discuss the proposed rise.

New Territories cabbies said they would follow suit if the applications were successful.

Lai Ming-hung, of the Taxi and Public Light Bus Concern Group, said all taxi unions had basically agreed that a fare rise was needed, as operation, maintenance and insurance costs had increased 6.9 per cent for every nine kilometres they travelled.

Passengers currently pay HK$1.50 for every 200 metres after the flag fall until the chargeable amount reaches HK$72.50. While some unions are seeking to raise 10 cents for every metre for short-haul passengers, others said they want the increase applied to any distance.

Lai Hoi-ping, of Hong Kong Taxi Association, said cabbies were earning about HK$300 after costs for every 12-hour shift. "But HK$300 now is not the same as HK$300 last year," he said. "If we stick to the current fare, it would be very hard for us to make ends meet."

Rents for cabs had also increased by HK$20 every shift last year, although their fare increase attempts were not successful.

Wong Wing-chung, of the Northwest Area Taxi Drivers and Operators Association, said cabbies in the New Territories felt under pressure to raise fares, but would wait until the urban taxis had successfully done that.

"We need to keep the discrepancies in fares," he said. "I don't understand how the lawmakers turn down our applications every time. They had a pay rise. Our living costs were increasing as well."

In March last year, 15 urban taxi groups - drivers and owners - submitted an application for fare rises to the Transport Department, just nine months after the last increase in July 2010, when the flag fall rose from HK$18 to HK$20. The application was turned down by Legco.

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11

This article is now closed to comments

epicentre
I wouldn't mind paying a higher fee, but in turn a lot has to change to justify a fare hike:
- better driving skills and road manners
- better city knowledge
- accept plastic
- cleaner and modern taxis
- drivers should not pick and choose routes (i.e. not refuse to cross the harbour)
- better regulation of tunnel surcharges
Comparing taxis across Asia - excluding mainland China - HK probably has the worst "taxi manners". I feel safer and getting better value for money anywhere else.
trista827
one day, we better walk to work
CatInAFlap
Once taxi drivers stop breaking the law by not accepting legitimate fares cos they don't like the cut of your (mostly ****) jib..then they can ask for a falg-fall hike, the cheeky monkeys.
donniemcm
But it's quite indecent that certain business can have raise whereas people can't claim and obtain rise from their employer for inflation reason.
It's quite unfair.
chrischeung1
as readers have said,, its not the fares that need changing, its the silly limited number of taxi licenses allowed, causing rampant speculation. I'm not sure how accurate this is but 15 yrs ago, a taxi license was about $1M, 3 years ago, its $4m, now i've heard its about $7M!! The gov should double the number of licenses. During peak hours and at night, there arent enough taxis anyway.
taxiarnhem.taxicentrale
yes In the Netherlands was there a very hard discusion about this subject. Taxi Arnhem www.taxi-arnhem-bluecabs.nl will increase also.
Common Man
Inflation has just become an excuse for raising the prices. We common people also go through the same problems, overall inflation and to top that there are chances of taxi fare hike. These are the current prices - www.taxiautofare.com/hk/taxi-fare-card/Hong%20Kong-Taxi-fare. After this hike the fare per km would be HK$8. No point in cribbing, least we can do is be prepared to pay more.
caractacus
The underlying evil is the licencing system in which speculators force up the price. There should be a re-vamp of the whole mechanism and fixed licence fees.
donniemcm
This rich businessmen/company vicious circle is beginning to push people.
Rich owners buy a new place and push out 50yo restaurants because of high rent.
Now it's rich owners buy taxi license and push the WHOLE Hong kong taxi fare up.
megafun
costs of taxi license and corresponding rental should go down, and not taxi fares going up!! So, maybe we should issue more licenses to force these greedy taxi-owners to lower their taxi-rentals.

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