Why Shanghai’s Taxi is Good

There are 42000 taxis in Shanghai. Generally speaking, they are offering very nice service. Here are some of my old entries on Shanghai taxi.

Taking taxis in Shanghai

Shanghai Taxi Tickets

Typical Taxi Fares in Shanghai

Taxi Services at Shanghai Pudong Airport

Benz Taxi in Shanghai

More Shanghai Taxi information.

Why Shanghai’s Taxi Service is Good?

A taxi driver told me about the secret of management when I was in Shanghai.

People know there are several different color of taxis in Shanghai. If you observe carefully, you will find there will be only 8 colors of taxi in Shanghai.

Unique Color-ed Taxi

There are may taxi companies in Shanghai, and not every company are allowed to create its own branding color. Only taxi companies with more than 1000 taxis can select its own color for their taxi.

There are only 5 taxi companies reached the bar:

  1. Dazhong (Turquoise)
  2. Qiangsheng (Yellow)
  3. Jinjiang (White)
  4. Bashi (Light Green)
  5. Nonggongshang

Check the Background story – Why lot of taxi in Shanghai are red? section in this article.

All these companies care their branding very much and are competing with each other. They have highest quality standards.

Blue Taxi

All taxi companies with less than 1000 but more than 200 forms a union called “Blue Union”, and all of them are pained blue. All these companies are strictly monitored by the Blue Union for service quality.

Indian Red Taxi

For other smaller companies, like those with 40 – 100 taxis, they are all painted red – or to be more specific, the Indian Red. The service quality is generally lower than the big companies or Blue Union. It backed the general practice in Shanghai “Avoid Red taxis”.

France Red Taxi

To be fare to the good taxi drivers in smaller companies (less than 200 taxis), a new brand is introduced. It is called France Red Taxis. They are selected from 30 taxi companies (out of the 300 “Indian Red” taxi companies) with prove good service qualities. The France Red Operation Team monitors the quality of this type of taxi and they sometimes provide even better service than the big names.

Well. As you can see, the 8 colors represent the service standard in Shanghai. I would rate them in the following order

  1. Turquoise taxi ( Da Zhong)
  2. France Red
  3. Yellow taxi (Qiangsheng)
  4. Light Green Taxi (Bashi)
  5. White Taxi (Jinjiang)
  6. Blue (Blue Union)
  7. Indian Red (Others)

Beijing should learn from Shanghai on the management of taxis.

16 thoughts on “Why Shanghai’s Taxi is Good

  1. Jianshuo, when you can spare the time, two photos differentiating “France Red” and “Indian Red” taxis would be most welcome.

  2. I agree with WilliamW!

    Even though I am an Indian, this is the first time I am hearing te term, “Indian Red”.

    I’d like to learn whats the differenece between French- and Indian- red :)

  3. When in Shanghai, I noticed the various colors of the cabs but didn’t realize there was a difference!. I also saw illustrated signs with phone numbers on the side… were those the numbers of the companies?

  4. Indian Red is dark red. French red is bright red.

    The signs on the side of the taxi are phone numbers where you can book a taxi in advance or ask one to come immediately. For Dazhong, the number is 96822 (toll free).

    Incidentally, if you have a complaint about a Shanghai taxi, you can call 63083200 during office hours.

    You can also book a “taxi van”. They also have meters, but are vans for transporting goods. Phone 62758800


  5. Yes. You can call to book taxi by the number you printed. However, please note:

    1. Most of the operator cannot speak English

    2. Do not book taxi if you will go to places nearby. No taxi driver would like to drive far to your place to take you for 10 RMB. If you to Pudong Airport, they will be happy to come to your door from anywhere in the city. Don’t be surprised if they tell you all taxi are occupied. Maybe the operator just don’t want to pass your request to taxi drivers because it is too near.

  6. I’m wondering what do you exactly mean when you mentioned indian red… Is it the color of the native americans or the indian people in india? Either way I find it offensive…. Where’re the chinese yellow and caucassian white taxis?

  7. http://nowthis.com/writing/1999/indianred.html

    I believe that it used to be correctly translated as Yin Du Hong in Chinese science textbooks.

    Many pigments are named for the place where they were originally mined or produced. Should French people be offended by the name French Red on a notion that it MIGHT link France to its being the country of the first communist revolution?

  8. To help those who don’t know, in reading that article you’d find the words “Crayola” and “crayon” where Crayola is a brand/manufacturer of crayons (wax pens, la-bi).

    I have no problem with political correctiveness, but attacking a name based on a misperception of it (inccorectly assuming that Indian Red refers to Native Americans’ skin color) is silly (OK if from kids who need to be explaned to, as the article mentioned). Were I to go out of my way to protest against something, I would first go out of my way to study that thing, its origin, its meaning, and its relevence.

    It seems a short while ago on this blog that someone from India or from near it actually found it interesting/refreshing to learn of the existence of a color named Indian Red.

  9. bigbro, if you know chinese, “Yin Di An Hong” means exactly “red indian’s red”. There are exactly referring to the skin color of the native american’s in this context, not the red color of Indian earth. Well I don’t want to start a war here, since the word speaks for itself.

  10. And I have commented that it used to be translated as Yin Du Hong, correctly reflecting the scientific origin of the pigment name.

  11. Hi, I found this site while searching for places to pimp (advertise) my English proofreading website. This discussion is a little above me, since here in Beijing the only necessary differentiation is between 深红色 and 浅红色.

    Anyway, the only real reason I’m posting is because I’m frustrated and need an online outlet where I can exclaim: Beijing taxis suck!!! The drivers suck!!! The vehicles suck!!! The companies suck!!! And the prices just went up again!!! ARRRRGGHGHHH!

    And the worst of it is- sure they speak Mandarin, but it’s garbled and unintelligible.

  12. Taxis to avoid at almost all cost are the ones with BX in the number plate. Several of their drivers are well versed in going the long way, switch your travel card to an empty one, tell you their meter is broken and try to charge huge fees etc etc.

    It is safer to wait even in the rain for a legit taxi than take one with BX in the number plate.

    This may seem harsh because there are some good drivers with this plate but ALL the bad ones have this plate. Be warned I almost had to call the police on one when he tried to cheat me and would not let me enter my building, security had to remove him.

    Better safe than sorry.

  13. Hi there,

    I recently lost my phone in a taxi in shanghai- it was dark and I think the colour was either blue or light green (or even white). The taxi light on top was green. We were picked up from outside the Science and Technology Museum station and taken to a house nearby.

    The drive did not give us a receipt but we do have a picture of him! Is there anyway I will be able to recover my phone? Does the number you gave for complaining about a taxi (63083200) useful here?

    Thank you.

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