Greedy Shanghai taxi drivers show the 'evil' side of new technology

Shanghai's municipal government issued an order forbidding taxi drivers from accepting reservations through booking apps during rush hours.

Google once had an informal corporate motto - "Don't be evil" - a sentiment often shared by many other technology firms around the world. Technology itself can't be evil if we see it purely from a scientific perspective, but how we make use of it can be a very different story.

Monday, 3 March, 2014, 12:07pm 9 comments

Hong Kong could eliminate cab complaints with Octopus

Photo: May Tse

Cheating cabbies are a hazard of big cities, preying on tourists and people without local knowledge. They may be a minority but they do nothing for a city's reputation. An encounter with them also leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

24 May 2013 - 5:21am 2 comments

BYD shares rise as electric taxis hit Hong Kong roads

The first six of BYD's 45 electric taxis will begin service in the city today. Photo: AP

BYD shares rose as much as 6.3 per cent to HK$35.35 before closing 3.46 per cent ahead at HK$34.40. The stock has gained 48 per cent so far this year.

21 May 2013 - 9:04am

Don't kid yourself that electric taxis are green

A BYD e6 electric taxi

Encouraged by the prospect of generous subsidies from the government's HK$300 million "green transport fund", the Hong Kong Taxi & Public Light Bus Association is leasing 45 battery-powered "e6" vehicles from Shenzhen-based manufacturer BYD.

21 May 2013 - 9:04am 15 comments

A proven way to cut road deaths

Taxi drivers on average commit speeding offences 51 times more often than bus drivers and eight times more often than minibus drivers.

Value-for-money reports by the Audit Commission measure the performance of government departments and public bodies against objectives. This can help prompt action by officials to meet public expectations. The latest report raises questions about road safety - in particular speeding and drink-driving. It found that taxi drivers on average commit speeding offences 51 times more often than bus drivers and eight times more often than minibus drivers.

22 Apr 2013 - 1:58am

Beijing promises to solve its taxi problem with fare increase

Taxi drivers queue up at a taxi stand at a shopping area in Beijing. Photo: SCMP

Beijing's municipal traffic regulator has announced a series of reforms over the next two years aimed at ending the increasing scarcity of taxis in the capital.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Grabbing a cab can put you on a road to ruin

'Discount taxis' may operate on the wrong side of the law, but they offer their customers a significant saving over cabbies that charge on the meter. Photo: AFP

Hong Kong may have one of the cheapest transport systems of any major, developed-world metropolis, but the temptation of another quick cab ride always beckons - and, added up, it can eat away at your bank account.

15 Apr 2013 - 3:11am 1 comment

Letters to the Editor, April 12, 2013

Thatcher's legacy inspires Britons, even now. Photo: EPA

I welcome the promising seven-year clean-air plan released by the government, especially the proposal for low-emission zones for franchised buses. However, the range should be expanded to private cars too.

7 May 2015 - 3:07pm 1 comment

Letters to the Editor, March 19, 2013

Ordinary masks will offer no protection. Photo: EPA

I am writing as a concerned citizen of Hong Kong, on the issue of the banners that have been proliferating around this city in recent times.

19 Mar 2013 - 5:20am 3 comments

Shanghai accident raises safety concerns over TV screens in taxis

The young woman's boyfriend posted a photo of her before the accident. Photo: Weibo/SCMP

Shanghai residents urged the city to investigate the dangers of  television screens in taxis after two passengers were injured in an car accident on Tuesday.

15 Mar 2013 - 4:06pm 1 comment

New taxi driver scams prey on overseas visitors to city

Breathing uneasily in Beijing

In one of the scams the driver feigns engine trouble and pulls over on to the hard shoulder, explaining that he needs to check out the car. So he has a look under the bonnet and moves round to the boot. He scans the passenger's luggage and anything valuable and accessible, like a laptop computer, and hides it in the boot. Then he tells the passenger that the mechanical problems are serious and he can't continue the journey. But he phones a friend who appears in another taxi. There's a quick transfer of luggage and off the passenger goes, unwittingly without his computer. Then the other taxi driver roars off and sells whatever he has looted.

5 Feb 2013 - 5:03am

Letters to the Editor, January 23, 2013

Illegal dumping is a serious problem. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Visionary in land-resource planning

Ian L. McHarg, who for over three decades was an influential advocate and practitioner of ecological planning, would have plenty to advise Hong Kong about, were he still alive.

23 Jan 2013 - 1:51am 3 comments

New York to test 'e-hailing' of taxis

The low-tech method of hailing a New York cab. Photo: Bloomberg

New York passengers will be able to use smartphones to "e-hail" taxis from the kerb in a one- year test programme, according to the city's taxi and limousine commission.

15 Dec 2012 - 4:51am

China Digest, December 8, 2012

The winner of a food-inspection competition discovered five illegal additives in half an hour, the Beijing Morning News reports.

8 Dec 2012 - 4:52am

Games brings economic respite but London pines for tourists

Britain exited a double-dip recession in the third quarter with the strongest growth in five years as Olympic ticket sales and a surge in services helped boost the rebound. Photo: Bloomberg

The London Olympics may well have helped Britain come out of recession but it does not seem to have helped attract tourists.

In a recent trip to London, White Collar talked to a number of taxi drivers to find out what was going on in the city.

27 Nov 2012 - 4:09am