The government’s plan of introducing a premium taxi scheme has received heavy criticism from the Hong Kong Taxi Council and local taxi drivers. Over 200 taxis and 100 individuals surrounded government headquarters on Tuesday to protest, claiming it could lead to unfair competition.
The proposal, submitted by the Transport Department last week, would allow 450 to 600 premium taxis to operate under a franchise. The scheme would require drivers to undergo adequate training and supervision and each vehicle would be fitted with Wi-Fi, mobile phone charging points and at least one form of electronic payment.
Transport Secretary, Anthony Cheung, was quoted as saying that the introduction of premium taxis would not harm the existing taxi trade as it would have minimal impact on Hong Kong’s 18,000 taxis. Meeting with the protestors on Tuesday he said that the proposed plan is “only a preliminary measure, and is not a proposal set in stone.” The department hopes to continue talks with those involved before moving forward.
Photo credit: Wikicommons