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March 15, 2012

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Tampered meters top list of complaints about taxis

USING tampered meters, taking detours and refusing passengers top the list of complaints among foreigners regarding taxi service in Shanghai.

In a recent case in January, a cabbie turned down a foreigner on the excuse that he was not familiar with the route.

The passenger, identified as Donna, called the city hotline "962288," designated for expats, on January 13, complaining that she waved a taxi in Pudong to get to Puxi but the cabbie was refusing to go.

The cabbie told the hotline's translator that he did not know the roads in Puxi. When Donna suggested that she knew the route and would guide the cabbie via the translator, the driver simply said no, adding that "he would not do business in Puxi." He later drove off with another local passenger.

Donna told the hotline that she "was not happy" with the driver's attitude. Fearing such impudent behavior would give the Shanghai taxi industry a bad name, the taxi watchdog has intensified its crackdown on errant cabbies.

A total of 120 taxi drivers were suspended from work last year, the city traffic law enforcement team revealed yesterday. Another 72 cabbies have had their licenses suspended for a short term, like 15 days.

The figures, say officials, are about 70 percent more than those in 2010.

First-time violators will undergo education before they are allowed to drive again, officials said. The city traffic administration has been releasing the taxi violation list once a month to the public, naming frequent violators and companies.


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