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May 18, 2013

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New payment option for taxis

SHANGHAI taxis will accept four new payment cards, including Unionpay's Quick Pass and Shanghai City Tour Card, beginning in July.

About 12,000 cabs will accept the cards.

Passengers who use one of the four cards will be charged an additional 1 yuan (16 US cents) for fares less than 100 yuan. For those with fares above 100 yuan, the fee will be 1 percent of the total.

Traffic authorities said the additional payment options can solve problems such as a driver not having change or the possibility of counterfeit money being exchanged.

Officials also said it can help passengers avoid cloned taxis, or illegal taxis, as they can not use the POS machines.

The other payment cards are Sandpay and Smartpass.

POS terminals will be added to the taxis offering the new payment option. The majority of the cabs with the POS terminals will belong to Qiangsheng Taxi Co, the city's largest cab operator.

"More choices are always good for customers," said Lu Fei, who takes cabs occasionally.

Other taxi companies said they would consider offering more payment options.

The payment idea was first introduced in 2003, but it didn't catch on as passengers didn't like paying the additional fee.


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