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COST OF LIVING/Riders give taxis an above-average rating ahead of April fare hike

03/31/2023 09:53 PM
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Taxis wait in line outside the Taoyua International Airport in this CNA photo taken on Jan. 19, 2023.
Taxis wait in line outside the Taoyua International Airport in this CNA photo taken on Jan. 19, 2023.

Taipei, March 31 (CNA) Passengers have given taxi services in Taiwan's six biggest cities an average score of 65.5 out of 100, according to a survey released Friday ahead of a planned fare hike in the northern Taiwan cities of Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung.

In the National Taxi Industry Development Association's survey of taxi users in Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, 51.3 percent of respondents scored the quality of comprehensive taxi services in those cities between 61 points and 80 points, while 26.3 percent gave scores of 60 or below, which was defined as failing.

Of the respondents in Taipei and New Taipei, where fares are set to be raised on April 1, 36.6 percent of the respondents considered the upcoming fare hike to be reasonable, while 35.5 percent thinking it unreasonable.

Meanwhile, 55.2 percent of the surveyed in Taipei and New Taipei said they would take taxis less frequently following the fare hike, with a mere 2 percent responding that they would take more taxis, and 42.8 percent stating they would leave their habits unchanged.

Lin Chen-lun (林振崙), chairman of the National Taxi Industry Development Association, said Taiwan's taxi sector continued to grow despite adverse conditions, adding that the results of the survey indicated there was plenty of room for improvement.

The association said in its report of the survey conducted in March that 39.6 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the comfort and cleanliness of taxis, and 39.4 percent said they were satisfied with cab safety.

However, as many as 42.8 percent and 36.4 percent felt the caliber of the drivers and the condition of the vehicles could be improved.

The survey also found there to be a strong consensus on safety issues among respondents.

Of all respondents, 84.2 percent thought taxi drivers should have a police criminal record certificate, and 84.3 percent felt monitors should be installed in taxis to avoid controversies or misunderstandings between drivers and passengers, the association said.

Those who disagreed with the idea of a monitor objected on privacy grounds, fearing that the recorded videos would be used for other purposes and infringe on passengers' privacy, the association said.

Meanwhile, the outcome of the survey also reflected how people's habits have changed as technology has developed.

People who tend to book taxis using apps accounted for 56.5 percent of the total, with those who preferred to hail a taxi on the street or book one by phone accounting for 21.3 percent and 21.1 percent, respectively, the survey showed.

The survey collected 1,118 valid online questionnaires between March 8 and March 20. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

From midnight Friday, the starting fare for taxi journeys in Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung will be increased from NT$70 (US$2.3) to NT$85, and from NT$90 to NT$105 between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., while the NT$5 extra fare when the vehicle is stationary is shortened from one count per 80 seconds to one count per 60 seconds.

(By Yu Hsiao-han and Chao Yen-hsiang)


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