Edited and translated by Wang Xin, People' Daily Online.
Taxi is considered as a city’s "business card" as its development reflects the progress of the city. The scales and type of Beijing's taxi cab has undergone big changes in 30 years: from yellow minivans, to Xiali, Fukang, and Jetta, and then Hyundai running everywhere in the city today; now hybrid electric taxi and barrier-free taxi already hit the road.
Taxi service had experienced fast growth in 1980s, and it served only people from other cities or foreigners, because taxi fare was high comparing with people’s income in 1980s. Taxi fare from 1984 to 1996 was 10 yuan for 10 kilometers. The taxi cabs in service were mainly yellow minivans, which people called “miandi”. And fare for a ride was 10 yuan for the initial distance of 3 kilometers, and 2 yuan per additional kilometer.
With the increased taxi volume in Beijing in 1990s, taxi fare remained low. From 1996 to 1998, taxi fare was different relying on different type of car. The lowest price was 1 yuan per additional kilometer, and the highest is 2 yuan per additional kilometer. Although different type of taxicabs met the needs of different passengers, it was hard for the government to manage, and different types and colors was not good for the appearance of the city either.
In 2006, Beijing increased the taxi fare. It rose from 1.6 yuan to 2 yuan per kilometer, but 10 yuan for first 3 kilometer remained unchanged. Hyundai and Volkswagen taxi cabs gradually replaced Xiali and Fukang to win taxi market.
Taxi fare in Beijing had remained unchanged for seven years until new policy was announced by Beijing Development and form Commission on June 6, 2013. The starting fare will increase from 10 to 13 yuan for the first 3 kilometers and fare per subsequent kilometer increased to 2.3 yuan, and 1 yuan was charged for fuel surcharge per ride. The new price plan took effect on June 10, 2013.
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