Hong Kong taxi users face higher fares
Many users were unaware that charges increased by HK$2 for the flagfall and an additional 10 cents for every 200 metres travelled for the first 9km in urban areas
Higher taxi fares came into effect on Sunday, with the flag fall for all cabs across the territory costing an additional HK$2. But many passengers appeared unaware of the move.
Passengers taking red urban taxis will see the minimum fare raised to HK$24, that of a green New Territories taxi to HK$20.50 and a blue Lantau taxi to HK$19.
One taxi driver of 14 years, surnamed Cheung, said only one out of five passengers she drove on Sunday morning was aware of the fare rise.
“Without the rise, it’s hard to survive,” she admitted.
But she was worried that passengers might be put off by another fare rise, and said she had been surveying passengers to see if they would take other forms of transport.
“This time the fare rise was a bit different from last time, because the longer the journey, the bigger the bill,” she said. She said a trip from Tai Po to Hong Kong airport would cost about HK$40 more.
Gloria Sze, who had just got out of a taxi from Mid-Levels to Causeway Bay, said she wasn’t aware of the new charge either until the driver pointed to a fare table hanging on the back of the seat.
“A two-dollar increase won’t make me take fewer taxi rides,” she said. “But I do hope that [cabbies] can improve their service. Their attitude can be quite bad and they often like to refuse hires for whatever reason.”
Every tick on the meter will cost passengers more. For every 200 metres travelled in urban areas, fares will be 10 cents more expensive for every 200 metres, taking the rate to HK$1.70. This increase applies to the first 9km of a journey, after which the rise is 20 cents, taking the rate to HK$1.20 per 200 metres.
The additional charge for baggage will rise HK$1 to HK$6, but the surcharge for pets and telephone hire remains unchanged at HK$5.
Cabbies lobbied hard for the increase to cope with inflation and attract more young blood to an increasingly unappealing trade.
The last time fares were increased was in December 2013.
The Transport Department says taxi meters should be adjusted to reflect the new fares. If meters are not adjusted, cabbies must display the fare conversion table issued by the department.
The new fares will have to be written down on fare receipts if a passenger asks for one.