Beijing will open a public hearing on April 26 to debate a price rise for its taxi fares to 2 yuan (25 US cents) per kilometer from 1.60 yuan, and to phase out budget cabbies that run at 1.20 yuan a km, said the Municipal Development and Reform Commission.
The commission, which has the right to change taxi fares, will also establish a fuel-related fare adjustment to take the burden off of cabbies.
The price of No.93 gasoline has risen to 4.65 yuan per liter, 1.59 yuan more than in July 2000, which means cabbies have to pay an extra 1,000 yuan for fuel a month.
The fuel-related fare adjustments will correspond with the fluctuating gasoline costs according to:
*Taxi companies offer cabbies a subsidy when the fuel prices rise to 5.20 yuan per liter;
*Passengers will pay an extra 0.5 yuan after the first 3 kilometers when fuel price rises to 5.50 yuan per liter;
*Passengers will pay an extra 1 yuan after the first 3 kilometers when fuel price rises to 5.80 yuan per liter;
*Taxi fares for per kilometer will be raised when fuel price rises to 6.10 yuan, with the drivers' subsidy and passengers' extra pay canceled.
*When the average price of No.93 gasoline drops to 4.26 yuan per liter for a year, taxi fares will decrease to 1.80 yuan per liter;
* When the average price of No.93 gasoline drops to 3.63 yuan per liter for a year, taxi fares will decrease to 1.60 yuan per liter;
The existing 3,000 Xiali taxies, which cost 1.2 yuan per km, will be replaced with new taxies that will cost 2 yuan per km by the end of this year.
The proposal said that the adjustment won't greatly influence passengers because more than 76 percent of passengers' salaries exceed 4,500 yuan, and the raised price will merely add an extra 1 to 5 yuan.
The hearing is offering 10 public seats so residents can observe. Anyone who is interested in the hearing can sign up from 9am on April 25.
The telephone number is 8610-6641-5783. The hearing will start at 9am on April 26 in the Beijing Capital Hotel.
(China Daily April 19, 2006)