Taxi drivers on the night shift were willing to pay a higher rent in exchange for a guarantee of business from the '80-per-cent gang', an industry leader said. Urban Taxi Drivers Association Joint Committee chairman Kwok Chi-piu estimated that of 40,000 taxi drivers, 7,000 night-shift drivers had been giving discounts to passengers referred to them. Most of the referral agents were taxi drivers, employed by taxi firms to lure customers with discounts through promotions such as giving out name cards. Each agent would have a list of at least a few dozen drivers to whom they would refer customers. Those who accepted referrals would be guaranteed at least HK$300 worth of business a night. But they would have to pay HK$380 to HK$400 a shift for rental, when the rent was normally only HK$260 to HK$290. Mr Kwok said night-shift drivers usually took about HK$700 a night, leaving them with about HK$300 after paying the higher rent. But they preferred to pay because the business was guaranteed, Mr Kwok said. The referrals did not violate any laws, he said. 'After all, it's the customers calling them, asking for discounted rides,' he said. Mr Kwok said the guarantee of business had attracted more drivers to the scheme, prompting the syndicates to consider extending their business to the day shift. 'This is upsetting the drivers,' he said. 'Those - both day- and night-shift - who refuse to reduce the fare are be affected.'