Taxi fare hike seen likely in November

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — If approved by the Taipei City Government, a taxi fare hike may be in store for city residents as early as November, possibly raising fares by up to 42% on short trips. Yeh Chih-chuan, a division chief at the Department of Transportation under the Taipei city government, said there are three taxi-fare-hike proposals raised by taxi cabs and drivers associations in Taipei to reflect the increased oil costs.

These proposals will be reviewed by the public utilities rates screening committee before they are up for final approval by the city government, Yeh said. The first proposal simply calls for the starting fare to be hiked to NT$100 from the existing 70. Based on the second proposal, the starting fare will be raised to NT$90 from NT$70 for the first 1,250 meters of trip, down from the existing 1,500 meters. In addition, NT$5 will be charged for every additional run of 250 meters, down from 300 meters. The third proposal calls for the daytime fare to follow the same formula for calculating night-time fares, and for the night-time fares to enjoy a NT$20 markup for every trip. Yeh said that the screening committee will work out an optimal taxi fare hike proposal after taking relevant factors into consideration, such as oil prices, depreciation of tires, the prices of taxi cabs, etc. Yeh said if a fare-hike proposal is finalized and ratified by both the city government and city council, it will be put into effect on Nov.1 or Nov. 15.