[photopress:shanghai_taxis_1.jpg,full,alignright]Since going on duty in April a team of officers patrolling the entrances to 27 of the city’s top hotels to keep an eye out for taxi drivers who try to cheat foreign passengers has reported 46 drivers. The Shanghai Traffic Law Enforcement Team assigned 57 assistants to patrol outside 27 four- and five-star hotels to supervise cabbies.
One of their main tasks it to watch for drivers who overcharge passengers, mainly foreigners.
In the few months they have been on the job, team members have reported 46 cases of bad business behavior, mainly overcharging or refusing passengers who only want to take a short trip.
The writer took a cab to the airport and wondered why the driver kept moving his body to hide the meter. Then, as the cab neared the airport he put his hand underneath the meter and jerked the wire which sent the fare shown up considerably. He then stopped some way from the passenge entrance to the airport. After a full and frank discussion he drove up to the airport and, threatened by police intervention, adjusted the fare in a satisfactory manner.
So, yes, it does happen. Mark you, Shanghai drivers are the soul of honesty compared to those of, say, Athens who top the writer’s league table for general dishonesty and inefficiency with Rio de Janeiro coming in a close second. Shanghai would not be in the top 100.
In the report it tells of a team member surnamed Pan who helped an Indian in downtown Jing’an District. They were charged RMB530 for an RMB53 trip. The driver had blocked the decimal on the fare meter with a scrap of adhesive tape. The Indian couple received a 530 yuan refund and an apology. No report on what happened to the driver but, if the regulations were followed, he would be banned from working in the industry for five years.
The number of confirmed cases of cabbies overcharging or turning down fares has dropped by 15.9% in the first five months of this year compared with the same period last year. Having a patrol looking, as it were, over their shoulders would no doubt encourage honesty.
Source: Shanghai Daily
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