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    A worker stands between the taxis line waiting for customer in Beijing

    Striking Chinese Taxi Drivers Win Concessions From Beijing

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    A controversial fuel surcharge on official taxi rides is repealed, putting taxi drivers on a level playing field with taxi apps such as Uber.

    MOSCOW, January 15 (Sputnik) – Beijing's Municipal Commission of Development and Reform has repealed the mandatory fuel surcharge on taxi rates in connection with the global fall in oil prices.

    "The transport committee has decreed the repeal on the fuel surcharge at the rate of one yuan ($0.16) for all city-licensed taxis in Beijing. The decree comes into force on January 15, 2015," the commission's website announced.

    Companies must make the appropriate technical adjustments to their taximeters before January 21, and must completely cease collecting the fuel surcharge starting January 22.

    The Chinese government has previously lowered the price of gasoline and diesel fuel. Since July 2014, this is the 12th reduction in connection with a decrease in oil prices, Xinhua reports.

    Beijing has about 67,000 licensed taxis; the fuel surcharge was introduced in 2009 due to a rise in oil prices.

    Other Chinese cities previously enacted similar measures. In Nanjing, the administrative center of Jiangsu province, local taxi drivers conducted a strike on January 8 and 9, because of the government's decision to lower the fuel surcharge from two to one yuan. They parked at bus stops, train stations and the airport and refused to transport passengers.

    Moscow taxi
    © RIA Novosti . Ruslan Krivobok
    The strikes are also connected to the spread of app-based taxi services such as Uber, which allow drivers to use privately-owned vehicles to offer rides, according to the New York Times. China banned drivers ofprivate vehicles from using ride-hailing apps last week, but Uber has so far been able to escape the crackdown, according to China Daily.


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