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November 1, 2012

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Foreigners give thumbs up to taxi service cards

TAXI service cards that give estimated cab fares to airports and tourist attractions to avoid overcharging have been welcomed by hotels and many foreign passengers since the initiative was launched last year, the Shanghai Traffic Law Enforcement Team said yesterday.

Eighty-seven hotels now give out the service cards. Another 122 high-end hotels are expected to join in by the end of this year, team officials said.

Complaints about taxis have decreased since the service cards were handed out, said Chen Zhaohui, a spokesman with the team, which oversees the taxi industry.

The team received 52 complaints about taxis at hotels from January to October, down from 101 during the same period last year.

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

The card lists the routes and approximate fares to the city's two airports, traffic hubs and main tourism sites.

Hotel guests are given the cards so they will not be overcharged.

According to a card handed out yesterday to a foreign passenger at Hilton Hotel in Jing'an District, a taxi ride from the hotel to Pudong International Airport is estimated at 170 yuan (US$27.25). This is based on a trip without severe traffic congestion, traffic authorities said.

People from out of town are easy targets for unscrupulous cabbies, said officials, who advised passengers to keep their receipts and write down car plate numbers if they feel they have been cheated by a taxi driver.


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