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October 16, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Fare-refusal cabs face crackdown

THE Shanghai Traffic Law Enforcement Team yesterday tightened parking limits for taxis in eight key city areas.

It is part of a crackdown on the drivers of vacant cabs who refuse short-trip passengers and comes after many complaints, according to team members.

"This illegal practice poses a threat for the taxi industry and the image of the city," said Wu Runyuan, a team spokesman.

Cabs with "out-of-service" signs on their roof lights can no longer park in dropping-off and picking-up areas in Xujiahui, Xintiandi, Wujiaochang, Yuyuan Garden and the city's two airports and two railway stations.

City taxi companies are changing rooftop cab lights to show two colors: green for available, red for unavailable.

However, authorities said some drivers who were vacant used the unavailable sign as a ruse to refuse passengers.

Cabbies in the eight designated areas are also not allowed to leave their vehicles unattended.

Authorities said they plan to extend the practice to other areas in the city with heavy passenger flows as complaints about fare refusals were mounting.

"The practice will make it easier to spot illegal refusals," said Cao Yongzhen, a driver from city's leading Shanghai Dazhong Taxi Co.

Officials said offending cabbies would receive a warning period but after December 1 faced a 15-day suspension and a 200 yuan (US$29.30) fine.


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