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Beijing to Hold Taxi Fare Hearing
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Beijing will launch a hearing on increasing its taxi fares, after the country marked up its fuel costs yesterday, Beijing News reported.

The city raised its gasoline price by 460 yuan (USD$57) a ton, about 200 yuan higher than the average price around the country, because it adopted the more strict Euro III standards on car emissions.

Taxi drivers in the city will get a temporary subsidy before taxi fares rise, said the Municipal Development and Reform Commission, which has the right to change the fare price.

As a city with high quality fuel requirements and strict emission standards, Beijing will subsidize its farmers, urban traffic system and rural bus lines for the over-average fuel cost.

Shenyang, capital of northeast Liaoning Province, is planning to raise its taxi fares by adding empty load charge and raising the threshold charge to release taxi drivers' surging cost.

Other provincial capitals, such as Xi'an and Guangzhou, don't have plans to raise taxi fares in the near future, Chinese media reported.

Shanghai may also hold a hearing to of debate the direct correlation local taxi fares and the increased gasoline prices at the end of this month or early next month.

(Shanghai Daily March 28, 2006)

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