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Illegal cabbies turning legitimate

THE city transport watchdog said it is working to create more opportunities for illegal taxi drivers to join licensed companies.

The Shanghai Communications, Transport and Port Bureau said yesterday that 3,700 illegal cabbies have been persuaded to join government-authorized taxi companies over the past three years.

Most of them live in the outskirts of the city and work for regional taxi firms licensed to work only within certain districts. Their rates are lower than city taxis.

Officials said the bureau had approved 1,690 new cars as regional taxis in the suburbs over the three years as a way of creating legal jobs for unlicensed cabbies.

The bureau said more than 200 bus routes have been opened or streamlined since 2006 to improve public transport between suburban districts and downtown.

The lack of convenient transport remains a headache for some suburban residents despite government efforts to improve public transport.


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