Chengdu taxis: More expensive, not easier to hail
Taxi companies workers spent the day yesterday furiously pasting the new rate decals onto the city's more than 4,000 cab windows before the changeover went into effect.
For all class-three vehicles—Jettas, Santantas, and Elysees—the new rates are RMB8 for the flag fare and RMB1.9 per km after 2 km. (The old rates, for comparison, mandated an RMB6 flag fare, RMB1.4/km in excess of 1 km, and an RMB1 fuel surcharge). For class-two vehicles—Volkswagen Sagitars—the flag fare increases to RMB9.
The RMB1 fuel surcharge formerly in effect is rolled into the flag fare.
Nighttime fares will now begin at 11 p.m. rather than 10 p.m. From 11 p.m., flag fare is an additional RMB1 and an additional RMB0.3 per excess kilometer.
Waiting-time fares have also been adjusted: The meter will jump RMB1 every five minutes traveled below 12 kmph; RMB0.95 every 150 seconds before 10 km and 1.42 per 150 seconds between 10 and 60 km; and, at night, RMB1.1 per 150 seconds before 10 km and RMB1.65 per 150 seconds between 10 and 60 km.
Phone and drop-in cab reservations cost an additional RMB2.
These fares apply only within the city limits, extending to the Shuangliu Airport. For journeys beyond, fares should be decided upon by the driver and passenger.
On the eve of the long-awaited Chengdu Metro Line 1 opening, reporters and netizens question how the rate hikes will affect taxi-ridership.
But, say the taxi companies and the Pricing Bureau, the net effect of the price hikes on the end user won't be very extreme. "The extent of the fare adjustment really is not big," said a spokesperson for the Chengdu Pricing Bureau, who estimates that passengers will now pay an additional RMB1 to 3 per journey, depending on the distance traveled. For an average journey of 5.62 kilometers, the passenger will pay 19 percent more than before.
Additionally, the meters in all cabs have been upgraded to comply with national standards to "ensure accurate billing"