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December 24, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Cabbies to keep more of fares

THE 8,700 (US$1,274) yuan that cabbies must give their companies each month will be cut by 200 yuan beginning next year, city traffic authorities announced yesterday.

It's a part of a plan to upgrade the taxi service and develop the industry in a healthy way, officials said.

"The spotlight will focus on the income rise of taxi drivers," said Sun Jianping, chief director of Shanghai Transport and Port Administration Bureau.

The cut will be the fourth since late 1980's.

At the beginning, two drivers who shared a taxi paid 11,000 yuan each month to the companies.

The price decreased to 9,600 yuan in 2006 and to 8,700 yuan last year.

Long complaints about low income and long working hours among the city's 100,000 cabbies led to a November session between drivers and city Mayor Han Zheng.

Drivers said the attention from top officials paid off.

"It's encouraging to know our income will rise and other welfare will also be taken care of," said taxi driver Yang Jinrong, 48.

But Yang also said the reduction is "relatively small" since the cut for each driver is only 100 yuan.

Yang said he can earn about 3,000 yuan per month after giving about 4,350 yuan to the company, Shanghai Dazhong Taxi Co Ltd, city's leading firm.

Monthly income for city cabbies is 3,500 yuan on average, up 3 percent compared to last year, said Sun.

City government will also cover the price difference if the fuel price rises above 6.43 yuan per liter starting next year.

The fuel price now is about 6.61 yuan and the difference from 6.43 is shared by the government as well as companies.

The government pays 80 percent and the companies pay 20 percent.

"Obviously the government tried to balance the interests of both taxi companies and drivers," said Cheng Lin, a senior manager of Shanghai Qiangsheng Taxi Co Ltd.

Cabbies get a pay break and taxi companies get subsidies, said Cheng.


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