Empty cabs waste fuel, cause pollution

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Shanghai Daily, February 16, 2011
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It seems that much of a cabbie's work is not profitable, as up to 40 percent of their daily mileage is spent with no passengers onboard.

The figure is higher than during the World Expo period when the demand for taxis was huge, the traffic management authority said yesterday.

The situation is causing concerns about wasted fuel and pollution, which worsened after the Expo.

Each cabbie drives 400 kilometers a day on average - this means that 13 liters of fuel are used while driving 120 kilometers with no passengers.

For a city with about 50,000 taxis, that can cost 4.6 million yuan (US$698,000) in wasted fuel every day and nearly 1.7 billion yuan a year, according to the city's taxi association.

"The best way (to solve the problem) so far is to increase the efficiency of the telephone dispatch system," said Hong Tianling, the director of the taxi association.

Shanghai Qiangsheng Taxi Co, the city's biggest taxi operator, echoed that sentiment.

Cheng Lin, a Qiangsheng -official, said the operator can -guarantee that a passenger who had ordered a cab would be collected within five minutes.

The operator has city's lowest empty riding rate at 33 percent, mainly due to its growing dispatch system -- which can handle up to 60,000 phone calls a day, said Cheng.

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