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Campaign launched against illegal taxi drivers

[ 2009-02-24 13:49]     字号 [] [] []  
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A three-month nationwide crackdown on unlicensed taxis was launched on Friday in a bid to restore order in the legal taxi trade that employs at least 2 million people.

The action will target gangs that organize illegal cabs and individual unlicensed operators, a circular issued by the ministries of transport and public security said.

It encourages people to report illegal cabs, and equips law enforcement officials with facilities to collect video evidence. Those who violate the law will face charges, while others will be fined according to local regulations.

"Illegal cabbies are now prevailing in the taxi market and have developed into a stubborn ailment. In some places, they're so rampant that it has seriously disrupted the market order and threatened passenger safety," Feng Zhenglin, vice-minister of transport, said on Friday.

The illegal cabs were one of the reasons for strikes by licensed taxi drivers in several cities last year.

"They can charge less, so they take our profits away," Chao Shuchen, a taxi driver from the Xinyue United Cab Co, told China Daily yesterday.

Guo Shilin, a transport official from Yongdeng county, was quoted by the Xinhua News Agency as saying many illegal cabbies are punished with only a fine of up to 20,000 yuan.

"We can't even revoke their driver's licenses. The punishment is not heavy enough to prevent them from returning into the illegal business," he said.

Without a unified punishment standard, the national crackdown will not completely solve the problem, Feng said.

Local governments should think of ways to fill the gap between supply and demand, an important reason for the conflict in some towns, he said.

"Sometimes I can't get a legal taxi in the morning rush hour, but there are plenty of illegal ones. They're usually shabby, but I have no choice," Song Jun from Beijing said.

Taxi drivers welcomed the campaign. Chao said the best time was during the Olympics when no illegal cabbies were operating. He said the crackdown will benefit him and other drivers.

But the government should cut the car-rental fee, which is 6,000 yuan and "too high," he said. "The rental fee is what we are most concerned about at the moment," he said.


1. How many people are employed in the legal taxi trade?

2. What will the three-month nationwide crackdown target?

3. What are cab drivers most concerned about at the moment?


1. Two million.

2. Gangs that organize illegal cabs and individual unlicensed operators.

3. The car-rental fee.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Campaign launched against illegal taxi drivers

About the broadcaster:

Campaign launched against illegal taxi drivers

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.