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April 22, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Cabbies to pay smaller share to companies

THE payment taxi drivers make to their companies will be reduced beginning on May 1,city traffic authorities announced yesterday.

Cabbies will pay their companies 8,200 yuan (US$1,262) each month, down from 8,500 yuan.

It's part of a plan to lift the burden on drivers and improve taxi services, officials said.

Also, the road toll fare that drivers have to pay the city will decrease from 150 yuan to 100 yuan per month per cab.

"Taxi drivers have not seen much income rise in recent years," said Sun Jianping, head of the Shanghai Transport and Port Administration Bureau.

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

The payment decreased to 8,500 yuan last year.

The decrease will apply to more than 80,000 downtown cabbies, suburban cabbies are not included, traffic officials said. There are more than 100,000 taxi drivers in the city.

Complaints about low incomes and relatively long working hours led to negotiations between drivers and traffic officials.

Fuel price rises have also squeezed the earnings of cabbies.

"It's not that easy to do business now," said Ao Hongwei, a cabbie since 1997.

Ao said he earns 3,000 yuan to 4,000 yuan a month after giving his share to the company.

"I could earn about the same 10 years ago," said Ao. "But fuel was only one-fourth of the current price."

Ao added that the company payment reduction is "relatively small."

Sun said the city government and taxi companies will also cover the price difference once the fuel price rises above 6.43 yuan (98 US cents) per liter. The fuel price is now above 7 yuan per liter.

Each cab received subsidies of 1,260 yuan last month, officials said.

Pressure to make ends meet forced some drivers to quit. Last year, 3,000 cabs operated with only one driver instead of the usual two, increasing from 900 in 2009.

However, some drivers were pleased with the result.

"I'm happy that our income will rise and other welfare will be taken care of," said cabbie Zhou Guiqiang.


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