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Uber competition for Lantau taxis

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Last month, taxi drivers criticised transport authorities for failing to put an halt to private car drivers offering cheap rides through car-hailing mobile apps such as Uber.

According to the transport authorities, the number of taxis in Lantau should increase by 50%, from 50 to 75 by 2025. Yau Shing-mu, Transport and Housing Undersecretary, told legislators that it was necessary to increase the Lantau taxi number to accommodate a growing population and an increase in the use of taxis. But there are concerns.

Taxi licenses are very expensive – HK$7 million to operate a taxi in Hong Kong – and not enough new taxi drivers want to pay for a license. Last month, taxi drivers criticised transport authorities for failing to put an halt to private car drivers offering cheap rides through car-hailing mobile apps such as Uber. Around the world, as Uber offers competitive rates, it’s taking a significant amount of business away from the traditional taxis. Is this going to happen here on Lantau Island? Will taxis or technology win the transport struggle?

Photo courtesy of G. Hobson.

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