Taxi fuel in Shenzhen surcharge back to RMB3 yuan
2012-August-13 Source: Szdaily web edition
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The yo-yoing of Shenzhen's taxi fuel surcharge continued over the weekend, when the city increased the surcharge for red cabs by 1 yuan (US$0.16) following national increases in gasoline prices last week.

The move returns the surcharge to the 3-yuan level seen in late 2011 and earlier this year.

The surcharge for green cabs in Longgang and Bao'an districts remained unchanged at 2 yuan, the city's reform and development commission said Saturday.

The price of octane-93 gas jumped from 7.34 yuan per liter to 7.66 yuan per liter Friday. According to the city's taxi fare mechanism, which is tied to gas prices, cab drivers are allowed to add 1 yuan to the fuel surcharge if prices of octane-93 gas are between 7.41 and 8.28 yuan per liter.

Fares for Shenzhen red cabs start at 10 yuan, meaning the fare for a short trip is at least 13 yuan with the increased surcharge. As the surcharge fluctuated along with gas prices throughout the spring and summer, many passengers said 13 yuan is too expensive for a short ride.

Cab drivers said the increased surcharge could help offset fuel costs, but feared a loss of customers.

A driver surnamed Wang with Shenhua Taxi Service Co. said if gas prices increase by 0.3 yuan, drivers pay an additional 450 yuan a month at the pump. But a surcharge increase of 1 yuan can bring an additional 1,500 yuan in monthly income, Wang said.

It was Shenzhen's fourth fuel surcharge change since March 22, when the surcharge increased from 3 yuan to 4 yuan, then the highest in China. The surcharge was lowered to 3 yuan May 14 and then to 2 yuan July 13, following decreases in gas prices across China.

Shenzhen's transportation commission has said that 4 yuan is the maximum surcharge for cabs.

Editor: Olivia
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