Cabbies push for fare rise on costly insurance, green-vehicle upkeep

Top News | Staff reporter 14 Sep 2018

Urban taxis have applied to increase the flag fall by HK$6, which would take the minimum fare to HK$30.

More than 20 cab groups reached a consensus and submitted the proposal to the Transport Department.

For every 200 meters traveled, the red taxis proposed charging 20 cents more than the existing level, regardless of how long the trip is.

The proposed change would see the cabs charging HK$1.90 for every 200 meters during short trips.

For longer distances that exceed nine kilometers, the taxis will charge HK$1.40 when the fare rises for the remainder of the trip.

The industry also wants to charge more when taxis are waiting. If a cab stops, the meter should charge a customer every 45 seconds rather than 60.

Taxi associations said the hike is necessary due to increases in cost, such as insurance charges, and maintaining environmentally friendly vehicles.

They said cabbies should earn a higher income as that would attract newcomers to the industry.

The last time taxis raised fares was in April last year, when the flag fall rose HK$2 for cabs running in urban areas, the New Territories and Lantau.

It took the minimum fare to HK$24 for red cabs, HK$20.50 for green ones and HK$19 for blue ones. In the last hike, the fare per jump increased by 10 cents for the first nine kilometers and 20 cents for the remainder of the trip.

On Saturday, bus operator KMB and its affiliate Long Win Bus applied for an 8.5 percent fare increase, citing rising labor and fuel costs.

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