A woman walks past a row of taxis waiting for passengers in Hong Kong on July 16, 2021.
(ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP)
HONG KONG – The Chief Executive in Council on Tuesday approved taxi fare hikes with increases of HK$3 in flagfall charge.
In a statement, a spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said the fare hikes are expected to be effective from July 17 this year after the government tables the relevant bill to the Legislative Council in May.
Under the new fare system, the flagfall charges for the urban, New Territories and Lantau taxies will be HK$27, HK$23.5 and $22, respectively.
Under the new fare system, the flagfall charges for the urban, New Territories and Lantau taxies will be HK$27, HK$23.5 and $22, respectively
Meanwhile, the incremental charge for the first-tier distance after flagfall will be HK$0.2 while that for second-tier distance will be HK$0.1.
ALSO READ: Hong Kong taxi drivers join COVID-19 battle
The average rates of fare increase are 11.54 percent, 13.02 percent and 13.83 percent for urban, New Territories and Lantau taxis respectively.
There will also be corresponding adjustments to the charge for the waiting time as a result of the increase in incremental charges after flagfall, while the other additional charges will remain unchanged.
The spokesman said that the government has taken into account various factors in processing the fare hike applications submitted by the taxi trade, including changes in revenue and operating costs of taxi operators, public acceptability, and the fare differential between taxis and other modes of public transport.
The spokesman noted that while the fare increases will bring extra transport expenses to passengers, the government hopes the fare hikes will improve taxi operators’ service so as to enhance the overall taxi service quality.
“As affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing operating costs, there was a decrease in the average monthly net income of rentee-drivers of urban, NT and Lantau taxis in 2021 after netting out inflation as compared with the 2019 level,” the spokesman said.
“The average monthly net income of rentee-drivers is lower than the average monthly salary of the transport trade. It is difficult to attract new blood to join the industry and there is a trend of aging within the trade,” the spokesman added.
“Through increasing drivers' income, the trade hopes that new blood will be attracted to join the industry and the trade will be encouraged to improve their service and invest more in new facilities, so as to enhance the overall taxi service quality.”
READ MORE: Hundreds of taxis parade against violence
The government has also proposed measures, including reforming the taxi industry, in a bid to enhance the overall taxi service quality.
The measures include introducing a taxi fleet management regime, increasing the maximum passenger seating capacity of taxis from five to six, as well as introducing a points system and penalty system for taxi-driver-related offences of a more serious nature, the spokesman said.