Related News

Home » Feature » Community

Taxi driver's lament: This is terrible

CAB driver Wang Yongbin has been behind the wheel for 15 years and he's been worried about his income since the Chinese New Year in late January.

The 47-year-old driver is making about 200 yuan (US$29) less every day than what he cleared for most of last year.

His daily net income in the past year was around 350 yuan: He usually earned 700 yuan to 1,000 yuan gross every day, deducted 360 yuan for rental, about 240 yuan for gas/oil and maintenance.

Working for 15 days a month, Wang estimates that his net monthly income last year was around 5,000 yuan, and the average for cab drivers in Shanghai is around 3,000 yuan.

"The recession is really showing for the past three weeks," says Wang, who has a 19-year-old daughter in college. The family needs to pay around 10,000 yuan annually for her tuition and accommodation.

"You see empty cabs everywhere even during rush hours. For most of the day, I'm only wandering on the street without customers in the cab."

Wang used to get most of his daily fares from long-term customers, mostly white collars either living in the city and working in suburbs, or vice versa.

"I could make over 100 yuan from such long-distance business and it takes only half an hour to 45 minutes," says Shanghainese Wang.

Most of his regular customers are not taking taxis to work anymore. Now they only take his cab to nearby Metro stations - only 30 yuan at most.

Wang now works later hours at night to earn more. Every night he waits outside clubs, hospitals, railway stations and airports until at least 2am, but he still cannot make up for the 200 yuan that he used to make every day.

Last year, he usually started at 6am and returned home around 11pm, later on weekends.

On Monday night, Wang got four customers: two from restaurants, one from the Metro station to the airport and another back from the airport to a bus stop. The average fare of the four trips was less than 50 yuan.

Wang says he and his colleagues are nicer and more accommodating to customers, making U-turns if someone hails him across a street.

"People are getting pickier and more specific about the roads I take," he says.

They used to just give him the address and let him decide on the best rout. Now they tell him not to take the highway.

Shanghai has about 40,000 taxies.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend