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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Taxis get subsidy to soften fuel hike blow

By Chen Xin and Xu Wei (China Daily)

10:42, March 22, 2012

Taxi drivers nationwide will receive a subsidy of around 300 yuan ($47.50) a month to offset the second hike in fuel prices this year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

The government on Tuesday raised gasoline and diesel prices by 600 yuan a ton. As a result, the retail price of mid-grade gasoline will increase by 6 percent and benchmark diesel by 7 percent.

On Feb 8, the NDRC increased gasoline and diesel prices by 300 yuan a ton.

Fuel prices vary in Chinese cities but the differences are small.

In Beijing, following the latest fuel price rise, motorists will pay 8.33 yuan for a liter of 93-octane fuel.

The temporary subsidy will be given to taxi drivers before fares are adjusted, NDRC officials said.

But many taxi drivers in the capital have called for an urgent adjustment to fares, saying the subsidy hardly makes up for the increased costs they will incur.

Jiang Mingsheng, a Beijing taxi driver, said the increase would cost him an extra 1,000 yuan a month.

"Although there would be a 300-yuan subsidy, it means that I would earn 700 yuan less than before," he said. "If I want to make up that loss, I have to work more hours."

In Beijing, the flag-fall price that covers the first 3 kilometers of a trip is 10 yuan during the day and 11 yuan after 11 pm, and it costs an additional 2 yuan a kilometer if a trip exceeds 3 km.

The charges have not been changed since 2006.

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