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Taxis get subsidy to soften fuel hike blow

[ 2012-03-22 11:04]     字号 [] [] []  
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Taxi drivers nationwide will receive a subsidy of around 300 yuan ($47.50) a month to offset the second hike in fuel prices this year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

The government on Tuesday raised gasoline and diesel prices by 600 yuan a ton. As a result, the retail price of mid-grade gasoline will increase by 6 percent and benchmark diesel by 7 percent.

On Feb 8, the NDRC increased gasoline and diesel prices by 300 yuan a ton. Fuel prices vary in Chinese cities but the differences are small.

In Beijing, following the latest fuel price rise, motorists will pay 8.33 yuan for a liter of 93-octane fuel. The temporary subsidy will be given to taxi drivers before fares are adjusted, NDRC officials said.

But many taxi drivers in the capital have called for an urgent adjustment to fares, saying the subsidy hardly makes up for the increased costs they will incur. Jiang Mingsheng, a Beijing taxi driver, said the increase would cost him an extra 1,000 yuan a month.

"Although there would be a 300-yuan subsidy, it means that I would earn 700 yuan less than before," he said. "If I want to make up that loss, I have to work more hours."

In Beijing, the base fare that covers the first 3 kilometers of a trip is 10 yuan during the day and 11 yuan after 11 pm, and it costs an additional 2 yuan a kilometer if a trip exceeds 3 km. The fares have not been changed since 2006.

"The fare is set too low. Since consumer prices keep rising, it's not reasonable that the taxi fare stays unchanged," said Ma Chuguang, another Beijing taxi driver.

Ma suggests that the base fare be increased to 20 yuan for the first 4 km and to 2.5 yuan for each additional kilometer.

He said the fare should be proportionate to the real function of a taxi, which is to meet the demand of people in urgent need. The current fare is too cheap and has encouraged all people, whether in a hurry or not, to take taxis, and made taxis hard to get for the many who really need them.

Deputy Minister of Transport Feng Zhenglin said at a work conference in late February that each city would be obliged to adjust taxi fares to reflect fuel price changes.


1. Who will receive subsidies in the wake of fuel price hikes?

2. How much will they receive?

3. How much will motorists in Beijing pay for gas?


1. Taxi drivers nationwide.

2. About 300 yuan ($47.50) a month.

3. 8.33 yuan for a liter of 93-octane fuel.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Taxis get subsidy to soften fuel hike blow

About the broadcaster:

Taxis get subsidy to soften fuel hike blow

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.