It is so hard to get a taxi. Wendy and I were at the Huaihai Road and Xizang Road at around 9:00 PM tonight. We waited there for about half an hour but still don’t think there is any possibility to catch a taxi. There are people on both side of the streets waving their hands to every car – no matter it is a taxi, or non-taxi, but for a long time, there is no taxi stopping at all.
After about 1 hour standing on the street, we finally got on friends’ car to get back home. Thanks Echo…
The Demand Meets the Supply
It is not a secret that Shanghai is lack of taxi. It is very hard to get a taxi at rush hours (well, rush hours means 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, including weekends).
Here are some records of terrible taxi waiting experience.
I chatted with a taxi driver few days ago. As almost everyone else, he complained about their tough life.
But he is happy that the total number of taxi available in Shanghai has not changed for many years (is it true? I consistently get this message, but cannot find the official data). He said if the government increase the number of taxi, that will be disaster for their lives.
Who Got the Money?
Obviously, it is tougher at the current situation for taxi drivers if they increase the taxi number. But is it the right choice to keep it stable?
Look at this city. How many people rushed into this city in the last few years? What is the expectation for transportation? What is the passenger number for taxi? The nightmare to grasp a taxi tells the answer.
My personal guess is, the taxi company just got too much out of the taxi drivers.
Shanghai is famous for expense car plate (37K per plate in the bidding of last month), but a BX plate worth 800K RMB. BX car plate is a special plate for individual taxi drivers. They don’t belong to a taxi company and they get most of the money they earn. (Cautious: Avoid Taxi with BX in Plate Number).
The 800K RMB price tells the secret.
The big taxi companies monopolies the market, and charges very hight for the taxi drivers. The taxi driver’s life get tougher, so they cannot agree to put more taxi on the road. Then the problem is, the city is trading taxi availability for the profit of taxi companies.
An Open Market
What if it is an open market, and a free market?
Now, it is still unclear whether car pooling is legal or illegal. Although it is a general practice (and a very environment friendly approach), it is very risky.
Han Han talked about a trap on this blog the other day. It is about a story that the Shanghai government hired people to pretend to be in emergency (stomach pain, etc), and waving for help on the road. When victim driver stop by to help, the driver will be caught and charged for illegal operation, and fine 10K RMB.
There is no way to verify the story, but I am not surprised at all, since it matches my perception of how they behave. The society has been cold already, and they are trying very hard to pin-point those small percentage of people who still have conscious, and good heart and fine them for doing good deed, so they won’t do it again, and more importantly, tell others not to do it in the future.
Connecting the raid for illegal car operation, and lack of taxi, you see a scary picture.