The State Council issued a guideline on July 28 to actively and steadily promote the reform of the taxi industry.
Structural reform of the taxi industry should adhere to the development concepts of innovation, coordination, low-carbon, openness and sharing, give full play to the roles of market mechanisms and government guidance, and prioritize the development of public transportation, in a bid to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the industry, according to the guideline.
Local governments are urged to seize the favorable opportunity brought by the implementation of “Internet Plus” initiative to regulate the operation of online taxi booking services, and explore management models in line with the actual development of local taxi industries.
The guideline also calls for the coordinated development of regular taxis and online taxi booking services to provide high-quality and diversified transport services. And new energy vehicles should be given priority when adding or replacing taxi cars.
To expand the reform of regular taxis, the guideline puts forward the following requirements: Franchises for newly-added taxi cars should be free, and should not be sold or transferred without authorization within their valid periods. Taxi operators should sign labor or operating contracts with the taxi drivers. Local governments should determine and adjust the price level and structure of local taxi services by taking into account the operating costs of taxis, income level of residents and drivers, and traffic conditions. They should also encourage the enterprises operating taxis to provide online taxi booking services and promote non-cash payment methods.
For online taxi booking services, drivers and their vehicles should meet the basic requirements of passenger transport services. And online taxi booking platforms should strengthen management over their vehicles and drivers, and determine the methods for calculating mileages and fares, according to the guideline.
The guideline also urges local governments to improve service facilities, strengthen the construction of a credit system and enhance market supervision to build a favorable market environment.