Shanghai Taxi Driver’s Life Tougher


After 7:00 PM, I took taxi home. This is a very very early time for me to go home. Typically, I will stay in office till 10:00 PM everyday. Since I just returned from the long trip, I think it is a good idea to get off work earlier and go back home to rest.

I took a yellow Qiangshen Taxi at Xujiahui. There are so many people rushing back home. Since it is the communication hub, 10+ bus stops stand there, side by side. Busy buses and interlacing each other and push hard to get their ways.

I managed to get the taxi and told him where I live. He give a very quick left turn from the right-most lane to the left lane, crossing the three lanes in the middle. Other bus are beeping and the drivers are yelling, but my driver seems very happy that he has made them angry.

Two minutes later, I began to chat with this driver.

Me: How do you do recently?

Driver: Bad. There is no business today.

M: Don’t worry. It will be better

D: It has became worse in the recent year.

M: Why? More and more people are taking taxi recently. About half of my friends taking taxi back home after work everyday

D: It is true. But…

M: But what?

D: Three years ago, there are less taxi. Most importantly, if they take taxi, they pay average of 30-40 RMB. But now, I can get only 10-15 RMB per customer.

M: Why?

D: There is only one sub way line and when people want to go across the city, like from Xuhui to Yangpu, they will take taxi. However, after the line #2 and the light-rail line #3 were completed, people like to take them for long way. They take taxi only when they get off at a metro station and take the bus home.

M: This is exactly what my friends are doing.

D: But the time for a 10 RMB customer and for a customer pays 30 RMB are almost the same. So my income is lowered.

I don’t know whether it is good trends or not. When the life in the city is more and more convinient, the life for taxi driver is worse – if what he said is true.

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1 thought on “Shanghai Taxi Driver’s Life Tougher

  1. Very true, while the metro system and other mass transportation system might gives a lot of potential customers for taxis. However, it means that the travel distance is shorter, this means more work, but less pay per customer. Humans aren’t just made to deal that way. Unless of course, it’s a regular shuttle thing, where you just shift people back and forth in the same area.

    It might be better to reserve taxi for spot to spot travel and long distances. And tip them well, they have done a good service of giving you a personal mode of transportation.

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