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Chinese cities regulate car-hailing

Updated: Dec 22,2016 7:20 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING/SHANGHAI/GUANGZHOU — Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou regulated car-hailing services on Dec 21, keeping most of the strict requirements seen in previous drafts of the new rules.

All the city governments continue to require drivers to be official residents of their cities and drive locally registered vehicles, making it very difficult for people and vehicles from other cities to work there.

Beijing and Shanghai have slightly lowered the requirements for vehicles which were raised substantially in the drafts, while Guangzhou kept the same requirements as in the draft.

All three sets of regulations took effect on Dec 21, with a five-month transitional period in Beijing.

China’s largest online car-hailing platform Didi Chuxing submitted written comments, calling modifications to the draft “more reasonable and relaxed.”

The regulations were drafted in early October and sent out for public opinion, Beijing receiving 9,246 responses, Shanghai 1,417 and Guangzhou 957.

According to Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport (BMCT), 70 percent of the respondents understood or agree with local registration for drivers and vehicles, while only 12 percent expressed doubts.

BMCT officials said Beijing needs policies based on its reality of 21.7 million people facing regular traffic congestion and environmental problems.

Efficient public transportation should leave online hailing as a minor commuting method, said Zhou Zhengyu, director of BMCT, “Our goal is to increase green commuting for sustainable development.”