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Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.

Surcharge to Help Taxi Drivers

For Jiang Zhuqiang, an extra 1 yuan (12 US cents) per taxi ride means nothing, he cares more about the service.


A white collar worker based in the CITIC Plaza on Guangzhou's Tianhe Beilu, the city's central business district, Jiang is a frequent taxi passenger.


"I think it is reasonable to levy a fuel surcharge of 1 yuan on passengers for each ride," he said.


"Fuel prices have kept rising, making it increasingly difficult for taxi drivers to make a living in Guangzhou."


According to an announcement by the Guangzhou Price Bureau, taxi passengers will be paid a fuel surcharge of 1 yuan per ride and enterprises running taxi cabs will reduce fees levied on taxi drivers by 100 yuan (US$12.33) to 200 yuan (US$24.66) each month from November 15.


And, according to the local government, no new fees will be levied on taxi drivers in the foreseeable future.


Shen Zhichao, director of the municipal price bureau, said the new measures, together with an exemption of another surcharge which was dropped in July, are expected to cut the operation costs of each taxi driver by 1,280 yuan (US$158) to 1,380 yuan (US$170) each month.


The official said the fuel surcharge alone is expected to increase the monthly income of each taxi driver by 980 yuan (US$121).


Shen said the new measures will more or less compensate taxi drivers for the rise in operation costs brought about by the year's fuel price rises.


The surcharge will be cancelled if fuel prices drop to the same level as during the first half of the year.


Sources say the present gas price in Guangzhou is about 60 per cent higher than in 1997 when the city's present taxi service price was fixed.


Zhao Jianguo, a taxi-driver in Guangzhou, told China Daily that he would prefer tax exemptions to the fuel surcharge.


"The surcharge won't mean much to high-income citizens. What I am worrying is that people will be reluctant to pay the surcharge or choose to take a bus," he said.


(China Daily November 2, 2005)


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