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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Thumbs down for London cabs

By Xu Junqian (China Daily)

13:05, February 07, 2012

Drivers of Englon TX4 cabs wait at the Hangzhou Foreign Tourism Taxi Company on Jan 31 to suspend their contracts in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. (China Daily / Wang Haoxing)

SHANGHAI - The iconic black hackney carriage that has been running for more than half a century on London's streets is being shunned by passengers in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, after less than six months into a pilot run.

In the past week, more than 30 of the 50 drivers of the new cab have suspended their contracts with the Hangzhou Foreign Tourism Taxi Company and handed back their vehicles because of sluggish business.

"Business has been very poor," said a driver surnamed Chen. "I feel like I've been driving an invisible car all day long, ignored by most of the passengers on the road, even if they are desperately in need of a ride.

"Many illegal taxis have made more money than mine."

Chen had expected to make a windfall from the "fancy eye-catching black cab" when he applied for it last August. Getting a taxi is like "winning a lottery" in Hangzhou, home to more than 8.7 million people but only 8,000 taxis.

The fleet of 50 purpose-built Englon TX4 taxis first hit the road during the National Para Games last September to help transport athletes with disability, and were kept in operation under the supervision of Hangzhou Foreign Tourism Taxi Co.

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PD User at 2012-02-0986.131.235.*
Geely should stop making this cab as no UK driver wants one.They only do 23 miles per gallon of diesel, when all the other cabs in use return over 40 miles per gallonThe VM engines are total rubbish, and a Toyota or Nissan diesel should have been fitted
G Ferguson at 2012-02-0986.131.235.*
If Geeley fitted the taxi with a decent diesel engine it might workThe engine fitted to the London TX4 is total rubbish it needs to be changed to a Toyota or Nissan diesel, and it need to be able to do more than 23 miles per gallon, all the other taxis in the UK return over 40 miles per gallon of diesel

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