Shanghai to raise its taxi prices

Taxis in Shanghai are ridiculously cheap compared to most major cities in the world. For a few USD you can drive all over the city, and you are not even expected to tip (if you tip they will normally hand you the money back, because it’s so uncommon). I have no idea how taxi drivers can earn money at the current rates.

Now that the National Holiday is over and the city is back to work again the local government announced that the prices will go up starting tomorrow. Not a lot, the base price goes from RMB 11 to RMB 12 for the first 3 km, and to 2.4 RMB (from 2.1 RMB) per km thereafter. Prices between 11 PM and 6 AM will increase to RMB 16 for the first 3 km and RMB 3.1 for every additional kilometer. This is of course still very cheap compared to what I am usually paying in Holland, or to what taxis dare to charge in Tokyo (that city must have the most expensive taxi fleet in the world). But compared to the average salary in Shanghai, many people will think again before taking a cab.

I wish the government would put a surcharge between 7 AM-9 AM and 5 PM-8 PM instead of after 11 PM. Especially during rush hour it’s often impossible to find a taxi. That makes a lot more sense than charging more after 11 PM when most taxis are empty anyway.

Picture: The taxi receipt next to this post is from a business partner of mine who was seriously overcharged by a cab: RMB 626 for a 19 minute ride (the driver added RMB 600 in toll fees). He paid for it, and the taxi company later said they could not identify the driver.

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  1. I don't think this price is ridiculously cheap, we have to consider the salary level in Shanghai … actually, it's ridiculously expensive, 🙂


  2. u have no idea how they can live on the current pay coz u not them, stop talking in the tone like u are superior than ordinary ppl, chinese or ppl in other countries, where that's the only job they can get.

  3. now the question is, how much of this will go back to the drivers, and not just the companies…

  4. actually it is a lot. it is almost a 10% jump.
    I agree with the surcharge during rush hours – this would help so much.

  5. Hi Marc,

    Indeed, the optics on this story are very bad indeed but again — is this an isolated case in a city of 17.5 million bodies, or a sign of a general trend? Note the original receipt is from 2007, and given the lightning pace of change in China (especially the big burgs), has a post-Olympics crackdown on this sort of behaviour come, or…? I'm sure there are going to be a few cases of gross malfeasance here and there…still, all it takes is one bad story like this to emerge, and that can be the straw that broke the donkey's back for a lot of potential travelers — even businesspeople armed with lucrative business deals.

    I'm shocked a group of three guys let a cabbie gang up on them like that, though. Couldn't they have made a scene and gotten someone to assist them in the street? I'm sure someone would have spoken English — though given how much people don't want to get involved for health calamities on the street, I'm somehow not surprised this could happen either.



    ps I'm crossposting this…curious to see what the reactions might be on Facebook and Twitter.