Hong Kong taxi fares will rise by HK$3, if a proposal approved by the Executive Council is confirmed by lawmakers. It is the first fare adjustment in over five years.
From July 17, red urban taxis are set to see the base charge rise to HK$27. Green New Territories taxis will rise to HK$23.50, whilst blue Lantau taxis will start from HK$22.
A government spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday that they were “mindful that the fare increase will bring extra transport expenses to passengers” but the authorities had sought to strike a balance.
“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,” they added.
The government also said it will consider measures to introduce a “taxi fleet management regime,” increase cab passenger limits from five to six, and roll out a two-tier points penalty system for taxi driver traffic offences.
The Hong Kong Taxi and Public Light Bus Association threatened strike action last August unless a 20 per cent fare rise was approved.
Amid pressure from the associations, the government has banned private vehicle competitors such as Uber. In 2017, dozens of Uber drivers were arrested and charged with carrying passengers illegally for reward and not having third-party insurance. The service relaunched last year, linking up with local taxi drivers.
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