Hong Kong’s urban taxi drivers are seeking a 25 per cent increase in the base fare, citing a need to catch up with inflation and attract young drivers.
The fare rise proposal suggests that the base fare should rise from HK$24 to HK$30.
Under the proposal, the cost of every 200 meters travelled after the first two kilometres would rise from HK$1.7 to HK$1.9. After nine kilometres, every jump of the metre would cost HK$1.4 instead of HK$1.2.
The taxi drivers also want to shorten the time between each jump while the cab is stationary from 60 to 45 seconds.
They proposed to increase the animal surcharge from HK$5 to HK$6, which would be the same as the baggage surcharge.
The Transport Department said it received a fare rise application from urban taxis, but not from New Territories or Lantau taxis.
Wong Po-keung, chair of the Hong Kong Taxi Owners’ Association, said the fare rise proposal was the consensus of the urban taxi industry.
He said inflation in the past ten years was around 30 per cent, but taxi fares only increased by 24 per cent.
Another reason was increased operating costs, he said, adding that the median wage of taxi drivers was HK$18,000, around 34 per cent lower than bus or truck drivers.
He also cited a lack of young people joining the industry, saying that the average age of drivers was getting higher and higher.