Hong Kong taxis should forget fare hike until passengers get better service
I refer to Hong Kong taxi drivers seeking a 25 per cent hike in base fares, citing rising costs and dwindling manpower. Not long ago, the bus companies applied to raise fares, and now the urban taxi sector wants to follow suit. But if taxi fares are raised, it is not as if passengers will also win a pay rise. So their travel costs will increase, or may force them to consider other transport options.
I think raising fares would be a wrong course of action for red taxis. Already their rival service, Uber, is eating into business with their nicer vehicles, more comfortable rides and polite drivers. Uber may be officially illegal, but there is no denying that many people prefer this ride-hailing service. Moreover, taxi drivers have a reputation of being rude or refusing a fare. If fares rise, it may only serve to put off passengers even more. I think taxis should focus on service quality first, before seeking yet another fare hike.
Minnie Siu, Tsuen Wan
Cut size of taxi fleet and change driver attitude
I don’t think the Hong Kong government should listen to the taxi sector’s demands for a fare hike. The appalling quality of their service does not warrant an increase in fares. They will refuse hires, seek exorbitant sums during special events or adverse weather, and are not above cheating unwitting visitors.
They want an increase in fares because their income has taken a hit, and that is because of the popularity of alternatives like Uber. Just raising fares will not help. I suggest that the number of taxis on the road be decreased, and drivers focus on improving the quality of service. Only this way can the taxi trade increase income levels.
Ryan Poon, Tsuen Wan